Motivating staff


I RECENTLY had the utmost pleasure of interacting and working with some of the country’s most prolific scribes and other media personalities during the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry tour of duty in Matabeleland a fortnight ago.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Geoffrey Nyarota an award winning journalist and human rights activist. I was amazed at how passionate he was with his work. I drew many lessons from Nyarota, some of which will greatly improve the content of this column as I got several tips on how to become a good communicator.

Out of the many conversations that we had, the one that stuck in my mind was that he envisions a society where scribes should first be qualified in their area of interest, in this case it is business for me and more specifically marketing, and then from there they can then train to be scribes.

Who knows I might just take that up seriously so we could improve the business columns in our newspapers.

My focus today as is indicated in the title above is motivating staff so that a business may excel. There are several factors that may be considered and used to motivate staff. I will attend to a few as follows:-

Acknowledge people efforts and achievement

When stuff has worked hard to achieve targets it is important for the business to stop and acknowledge the part members of staff have played. When employees advance themselves and obtain qualifications that are useful in that field of business, those in key positions should acknowledge that effort. The business may even offer to pay back to the employee a portion of the fees he or she would have paid to gain that qualification.

Give perks
These can go a long way in motivating staff. Perks may include allowing employees to take their vehicles home, free refreshments at the work place, leisure activities on work time such as golf and also being given the first chance at job promotions before external advertisements.

Provide the correct tools for the job
There is nothing as frustrating for an employee than to be expected to produce results when the correct tools have not been provided. Marketers need to be provided with vehicles that are in good working order and a mobile phone in order to carry out their work well.

Managers should relate to the people
I cannot help but think back to my days at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries. The chief executive officer then, Malvern Rusike, would come over to our different offices just to greet each of us and find out if we were well. He even knew our children and spouses names. I also remember that he would speak to me in Ndebele and even ask how my parents were back in Bulawayo. Did I dare disappoint such a manager? Never. I always went an extra mile in my work knowing I was appreciated

Show employees the result of their hard work
When the business wins accolades it is imperative that the managers bring them back home to show the workers what their efforts have produced. This means also showing even the one person who makes the office clean and habitable and the person who makes the teas. Without them work would not flow.

Empower employees by giving them a say
Managers would be amazed at the wealth of knowledge that workers have. If given this chance workers would also take ownership and responsibility for the business.

Make it personal
It is important to be part of the employee’s life. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other achievements with them. Send flowers or other small gifts that may be remembered long after the occasion.

Make work more enjoyable
A draconian workplace will make employees do the minimum of what is expected. A free homely environment, one that allows employees to attend children’s award ceremonies, sports day for example, will encourage employees to give of their best all the time.

Till next week, keep reading the red publication and remain Brand Savvy.