Treating your staff as you do your customers the key to motivation

We are all living in a WIIFM – what’s in it for me – world, and staff are just the same. No longer are people eternally grateful to have a job, they are wanting to know why they should stay in a job and what they will get from being in that job. If staff can’t see what’s in it for them, then their motivation to work for you will not be as high. Employers must not only provide a good experience for staff they need to promote to staff just exactly how they are meeting their needs. Follow these marketing principles in your workplace for increased motivation.

1. Do your research

In marketing we try and find out what are customers are wanting and then deliver that. The same can be incorporated with staff. Find out what your staff are hoping to get from the job. Ask them why they took the job, what aspirations they had and really listen to the answers. Many employers think that all staff want is money. That is the same as thinking all customers want a discount. It just isn’t the case otherwise every shop would be a discount store. Sometimes staff just want good instructions, supervision and feedback on the job performed and to be appreciated. This can be more important than what they are being paid.

2. Be a good supplier

If you make doing business with you easy and enjoyable customers will continue to shop with you. The same can be said for staff. By creating a good environment for your staff it will increase their enjoyment at work. Good lighting, good people, good equipment, good vibe – you set the culture make it a good one. Don’t forget the simple things such as saying thank you and paying on time.

3. Remove barriers

To increase the likelihood of someone buying from you, you need to remove as many barriers to finalising the sale as you possibly can. With staff some of the barriers to motivation might be stress, financial stress, time pressures or not being healthy. You can reduce these barriers by having a healthy workplace that encourages exercise and fitness, providing information and training on managing personal cashflow and finances or time management. Providing flexible working hours and ensuring people take time off can help reduce personal stress. Incorporating mindfulness practises in the workplace can also assist to keeping employees in the best state to be motivated.

4. Encourage and listen to feedback

Like customers, staff also want to be heard. Encourage feedback and be prepared to listen and act on the feedback. Always let staff know when you have taken on board their suggestions.

5. Promote the features and benefits

Customers may forget why they bought something. That’s why advertising can be helpful not only to get people buying a product but also in reinforcing their decision to buy it in the first place. Powerful advertising communicates both the features – such as funky CBD based workplace with great view and the benefits – can catch public transport to work and don’t need a car, close to great coffee shops and cafes. Reminding them of the features and benefits will be helpful.

Ultimately people are responsible for their own motivation, however, by thinking like a marketer you can set up the best possible conditions for your staff to thrive.

Ailsa Page, Director, AP Marketing Works and co-author of “Get Good or Get Off: A guide to getting it right on social media

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