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HR Matters: Keeping people happy

Author: Grace Grieve

The issue of staff motivation and incentive schemes is one that HR teams and business owners alike grapple with daily.

Are they really needed? How much is too much? How do you please everyone?

What works for one company will not necessarily work for another and there are many variables to consider.

The carrot and stick management model is fast becoming old hat and a few extra pounds in the Christmas pay packet no longer cuts the mustard. According to motivational guru Daniel Pink, businesses can now identify an emerging new breed of savvy employees who require a different approach to a traditional “pat on the back”.

Pink suggests that companies now must consider Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose when rewarding staff – being trusted to make decisions, being allowed a voice and having a clear purpose are the key criteria that job hunters are looking for. And its these three things that companies must now put in to practice.

Dan Fish, Chief People Officer at Invosys gives his take on just how organisations can make this work in a business:

Invosys is a forward thinking, fast moving industry disruptor at the forefront of innovation – and our staff play a pivotal role in this. It’s no exaggeration to say that they are our lifeblood. As Chief People Officer, it’s my job to ensure that our team thrive – and want to stay with us for the long term. We have some great incentive schemes in place which we build on all the time and we make sure that each one considers the concept of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Based on our experience with a great retention rate, I’ve put together my top tips of just what businesses across the channel can do make sure they keep their people happy:

1) Never underestimate the power of a thank you.
We’re lucky at Invosys that our employees go above and beyond on a regular basis. It makes a difference when this is noticed and rewarded with a thank you or a Perkbox reward badge. A simple thanks shows fairness and respect to all – and what’s more, it is proven to increase engagement and motivation. It’s hardly rocket science, but it’s an area where many companies fall short.

2) Flexible Working
We employ some of the brightest stars in telecoms who do an outstanding job. These whizz kids are also human beings with families, pets, and other responsibilities. We appreciate that, and if we can, we offer a sense of autonomy, trusting staff to manage their own time. This includes flexible working, part time hours and home working. We also offer 2 duvet days per year. Ideal if something unexpected comes up – or if they just need a day to recharge the batteries.

3) Positively encourage work-life balance
Happy, satisfied, motivated and engaged employees make for a happy workforce. A culture where long hours becomes the norm can have a hugely negative effect on both employee wellbeing and productivity. We are all the sum of our parts and we encourage staff to have interests outside of work – and we really put our money where our mouth is. Each employee has an annual “Personal Interest Allowance”, a pot put aside for every employee to learn new skills outside the workplace. This could be skiing, cooking, or even circus skills. Absolutely anything they like!

4) Staff Perks
Invosys partner with Perkbox to offer all staff a number of treats. This could be cinema tickets, free mortgage advice, cheap airport parking or weekly freebies such as chocolates and ice creams. Perkbox also offer a wellbeing section with video tutorials covering everything from relaxation and sleep techniques, to healthy recipes and hardcore exercise routines, to a free confidential Employee Assistance line offering all employees 24/7 support should they require it.

5) A sense of ownership
Everyone at Invosys makes a difference. Everyone at Invosys is important. Whether they are an apprentice who has been here a week, or a Director who has been here 10 years, we realise that everyone has a vital role to play. We acknowledge our staff’s beginnings with a snap of all employees in their formative years in our lobby– and we help secure their future in the form of a company share scheme, allowing everyone to own a piece of the business. If the company does well, then all employees have the opportunity to benefit.

In part two, Dan will continue to look at ways that employers across the channel can help to keep their staff happy.

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