Here's my advice on the top five ways to inspire and motivate your staff, to make sure that you get the most out of them and maintain a happy workforce:
1. Let them know what they're in for
Top of the list is making sure your staff are fully on board with what your company’s all about. At Pimlico Plumbers, we pride ourselves on being the best in the business and we want our customers to expect nothing less than a premium service. It’s our main aim to make sure that’s what they get that every time we do a job. For that to happen, your staff need to show pride in their work and buy into your company culture 100%. Our employees represent us, so they’re expected to be well turned-out, polite and friendly at all times. Because everyone knows what’s expected of them, we end up with staff with the right attitude and because the attitude runs through the company, our staff become proud of the brand and want to represent us in a good light.
2. Think before you speak
I’m a pretty straightforward guy, and I’ll always tell it like it is, but when you’re running a business you need to read the situation carefully. Before I was a plumber, I was a boxer and I quite often feel like I’m back in the ring, weighing up an opponent and seeing what he’s going to do next. Whether it’s a pay negotiation, an employee is routinely late or someone is pushing for promotion, think before you act and handle your team with due respect. If you show respect, they’ll do the same. It’s important to speak to your staff on a level and judge when you need to have frank conversations with them. If they feel like part of the team and have respect for you as an employer, that’s half the battle when inspiring your workforce.
3. Ask the right questions
You need to ask your team what they think, how they feel and what you can do to make their lives better and easier. Letting your staff know that you care about their opinions makes your company feel like their company too. This goes back to my first point – if your staff want to do the company proud, they’ll be more inspired and motivated. Make sure that your vision for the company is well known, and operate an open door policy which means that people can always come to you and their superiors with questions, problems and ideas at any time – not just during meetings or during appraisals.
4. It's the little things
You don’t have to make a big song and dance about things in order to make your staff feel valued – sometimes the little things count for more. For example, at Pimlico Plumbers, we provide staff with subsidised lunches, there’s an ‘employee of month’ competition, a free gym on site, gym classes and yoga classes, wellbeing days where employees can take advantage of a well-earned massage, and as well as that, if we have something to celebrate or a social, I’m sure to get the first round in! These little touches make sure that staff know that they are appreciated, not just at certain times of the year, but all the time. I would hope that my employees talk about work with their mates and the reaction is, “Wow – you’ve got it good – I want to work there!”
5. Make your company a long term prospect
I’ll wager that my workforce has one of the biggest age ranges in the country – we’ve got apprentices who are 16, right up to a couple of old boys in their 70s and 80s. I place a lot of emphasis on finding the right young recruits – they’re the future of the business and I want them to look up to the older members of the team and realise that there are limitless opportunities. To do this, you’ve got to keep challenging your staff, and making them know that they are appreciated. This goes back the point about listening to your staff – if they want to have a go at something, let them! If your staff feel like their future is at the company, they’ll be more inclined to be motivated and inspired.