Advice:Ten things to do that will make you a good boss

By , published on 11th February 2011

Motivating yourself can be tough, but motivating others can be a far larger challenge. In fact motivating those you employ can in itself be very motivating for you. Here are ten small things that will make your staff happier at work. Happiness is a vital precursor to motivation!

  1. Bright and light – banish brown paint and dirty windows. Make the work environment light and comfortable. Why not some comfy sofas for meetings instead of hard chairs?
  2. Keep it clean – nobody likes to come in to work and find the bin full and the toilets smelly. Invest in a good cleaner and everyone will be much happier;
  3. Be flexible – why not let people start early and go home early in the summer? Consider an annualised-hours scheme which makes it easier to manage both your workload and their work–life balance. This can also make your business much more responsive;
  4. Celebrate together – birthdays, new business wins and even Fridays can be good reasons to buy cakes for everyone;
  5. Nice drinks – it’s amazing how awful some cheap coffees taste. Treat people to decent drinks at work and don’t make them pay. Ask people what they’d like and stock it;
  6. Create competitions – lighthearted prizes for hitting targets make winning part of your workplace culture. Design some competitions to be won by junior team members;
  7. Organise outings – do your staff work in the same place all the time? Take them out to meet customers, to hear relevant speakers and see things that will shape their work;
  8. Sports – encourage fitness by subsidising gym membership. People who are fit tend to enjoy better health and take less sick leave. Gym membership can be a good investment;
  9. Support their cause – everyone has a cause they feel strongly about. Your staff will welcome you taking an interest, and perhaps even helping them out;
  10. Offer alternatives – remember that while some are extrovert others are shy. Be careful not to create a culture where people feel obliged to take part in things they’d rather miss.

Rewards packages

Everyone is different. Many large employers provide a flexible range of employment benefits from which employees can select. This enables people to be rewarded in the way that best suits their individual needs. It’s actually quite easy for small organisations to offer flexible rewards packages too. Here’s how to do it:

  • ask your team for comments and ideas;
  • cost those ideas, plus others you feel might be valued or welcomed;
  • make sure you are providing everything the law says you should;
  • take professional advice if you’re worried or not sure about any aspect;
  • negotiate individual rewards packages with your team.

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Robert Ashton

About Robert Ashton

Robert Ashton is an entrepreneur, campaigner and business author with three business books in the top 10 recommended for business on Amazon. He knows how enterprise can liberate, empower and strengthen people and communities. Robert is always focused on the end goal but treads lightly as he goes – that’s why he’s called the barefoot entrepreneur.

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