In a high-stress career field like finance, firms face a constant struggle to maintain their employees’ productivity and morale. We talked to a couple of top industry professionals for their tips on the best way to keep employees happy, working hard, and contributing to the overall success of the firm. Anyone who’s been in the business a while can clearly see how employee morale affects productivity, and why it’s important to keep morale high. Thoughtful, consistent company culture
Thoughtful, consistent company culture
Ideally, the company culture should be established before the firm is even created. The partners should put their heads together and decide on the core principles they feel should be at the heart of their business. Create your own version of the 10 Commandments, and remind yourselves of them often. Some might find it silly, but employees appreciate working at a firm where they know and trust their manager’s priorities and can expect a stable foundation no matter what uncertainties the markets may have in store.
No matter how we grow and develop, some things about humans never change. If you’re wondering how to improve productivity in the workplace, look back to your earliest school days. A gold star sticker may lose its allure outside of the kindergarten classroom, but the incentivization model remains powerful with people of all ages. The trick is to find what motivates your employees, but you can rarely go wrong with monetary bonuses and positive recognition.
Involve employees in new hire decisions
A team environment is a tenuous thing, and a great group dynamic takes time, effort and a bit of luck to create. If you’ve got a great group of employees who work well together, motivate each other and collaborate productively, don’t take any chances when you’re adding new people to the mix. One bad apple can ruin the bunch, but likewise, hiring positive, inspiring people can go a long way in improving employee morale and increasing productivity at work. So when it comes time to fill your next opening, don’t look at candidates’ CVs alone. Invite them to interact with your team to see how they get along; when appropriate, encourage your team to give feedback on how they think the new candidate might fit in with the established workplace dynamic. People with unhealthy work habits and negative attitudes are the worst motivation killers, so you’ll need to keep them far away from your work environment.
Focus on individual achievement, not status
We’re much happier when we avoid comparing ourselves to others. This is something that everyone knows deep down, yet we all struggle with it. Managers need to lead by example and make use of morale boosting company culture in this regard to discourage employees feeling like they need to directly compete with each other or measure their success against each other. Discourage focusing on status and redirect attention to individual accomplishments.
Honest, effective communication
When researchers examine what factors influence employee morale, communication is always high on the list. Communicating honestly with your team shows that you respect and value them. That doesn’t mean you always have to be sharing good news — your firm can more easily weather tough times if the team feels that you’re all in it together, and that they aren’t being kept in the dark.
Watch our ondemand webcast to get more hints and tips on creating a positive business culture inside!
Maria Vestal is a writer and comic book fanatic. She writes for her own company blog at Saraval Industries, and a number of other sites. She loves creating discussions and helping people find solutions. Her work focuses on team leadership, organization, office design and more.