Employees are the centre of each business, and it’s time for managers to realise this. Every day their hard work and efforts help run different aspects of a company. But it is how they keep up that hard work throughout the year that is most important. In the age of smart phones and social media, employee motivation is needed now more than ever.

But it is how you continue to keep your employees motivated that counts. It is an issue almost every company has to deal with whether you’re a local store or one of the industry leading company. Don’t just hold out for that massive Christmas bash at the end of the year where everyone always has a bit too much to drink as something for staff to look forward to.

Here are some ideas to get the most out of your workers and keep them motivated throughout the year:

1. Team Building Days

Take your employees out of their usual office environment and move them to a different setting for the day. Team building days allow staff to work together in groups where they are all striving for the same goal, this is a great way to keep your workforce in high spirits. It can bring together people from different departments and give employees something to look forward to.

Away from the challenge, team building days are useful for managers for finding out each member of staff’s strengths and weaknesses. But can also address any tension that there may be between staff members within the workforce.

Why not consider doing something fun and energetic to keep morale high? For example, paintballing, go carting, or even outdoor activity days involving sports always go down well. If you don’t fancy an action packed day out, keep it sophisticated with a night at the theatre, a day at the races or even a hospitality lunch? Something simple like trying that new restaurant or bar in town will make your employees feel valued and appreciate you as a manager.

2. Incentives

Having an incentive in place gives everyone a boost of motivation. Whether the target be set over a week, a month or a year, it will benefit both you and your employees by having something to work towards.

Obviously it is up to you what you choose the incentive to be. Most importantly, it has got to be something that will motivate your staff to provide the best results, otherwise it is a waste. Passing on praise when someone has done well can go a long way. But the most popular motivation is a money based bonus scheme. Placing a money incentive into the minds of your staff will more often than not inspire your employees to work hard giving you and your company the best results.

Why not try a companywide bonus scheme and break it up between individual departments? That way each group can collectively come together as a team to reach their goal. If some members are not pulling their weight, they can pick each other up and unite as a group. A company or group based goal ensures that everyone is getting something to look forward to, and you are getting the best out of your staff.

Introducing something simple like Friday lunches, where you can buy in food for your staff at the end of the week, or even renewing the coffee machine that has been playing up for months, can boost morale and motivate people to stay focused. Surprising as it may sound, not everyone is motivated by money, and sometimes a small praise or working within a nice environment with a good level of trust is motivational enough.

3. Open Door Policy

As a manager, it is essential to always make time for your employees. Having an open door policy means that members of staff can step forward and have a chat addressing any issues they may have in the workplace, without getting other people involved. It is important that staff feel comfortable around you, but also keep a level of confidentiality.

Encourage staff to share thoughts and ideas with you. This can make them feel like they are bringing value to the business. It can also give them a boost of confidence as they have ownership over their own ideas and projects. After all, staff are going to look up to you as an authority figure and when you know employees are on your side too, they will continue to work hard. Communication skills are key.

4. Set Targets & Goals

Having clear targets to aim for sets the direction of the company and allows you to get the best out of your staff. Let’s say if you are a small load securing Systems Company, and your goal is to sell 20,000 rolls of stainless steel wrapping in a year, such a big figure could seem quite daunting in January. But if you break this up and divide the figure into quarters, this can make the goal seem much more achievable.

When your targets are achieved, your workforce will remain highly motivated moving into the next quarter, ready to do it again. If you maybe fall short, or just miss out on the target, all is not lost. You can make a plan on how to improve in the next quarter, giving staff a fresh piece of mind and they can focus on bettering their goal in the next quarter.

5. Keep Your Staff Involved

Involving staff on what is going on with the company can also provide a level of value. Organise a quarterly meeting with all employees to keep them up to date with what is going on and what is to come in the company. Show off some of the figures to indicate how each department is doing and if they are reaching their targets. If the company is doing well, staff can take a step back to see what their hard earned work has done and motivate them to continue to do bigger and better things for the business.

No matter if your company is big or small, or if you have 5 staff or 55, you have to make each one of them feel valued and motivate them to perform in work every day. Create an attractive work environment. Keep staff motivated and yearning for results and all the best things can happen for your business.