Happiness at work, engagement and staff satisfaction

Happiness at work, engagement and staff satisfaction

As the economy slows, the question of how to motivate and retain staff is becoming increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs. With sales and profits sliding, there is little spare cash for financial incentive schemes and big bonus payments. A recent SmartCompany poll revealed 30% of businesses will not be able to offer their employees a pay rise to compensate for inflation.

But an economic downturn is the worst time to lose your high performers – this is not the time to abandon attempts to motivate and retain your staff. In fact, successful organisations are those that treat a downturn as an opportunity to refocus strategy while keeping their employees fully engaged.

It is worth remembering that in 1985, in the middle of a recession, Ireland-based low-cost airline Ryanair launched into a highly competitive market. It had one aeroplane and an innovative business model. It now has a fleet of 133 and is near the top of the European short-haul market.

It is also worth remembering that money might not be the glue that keeps the best and the brightest. A survey of workers by British consulting firm White Water Strategies, conducted early this year, found that saying “thank you” often had the same impact on job satisfaction as a salary hike. The research revealed that praising staff had the same motivational kick as a 1% pay rise.

But few companies did it well.

To read more about what you can do to create happiness at work and workers who’re not just happy but also engaged and productive and unlikely to leave – click here