Elizabeth Mills discusses ways to motivate staff after regulation

With the introduction of regulation employees may have experienced significant changes to their working practices which can generate negativity or concern. Motivation can help overcome some of these difficulties.

Motivation can be a financial reward. Although potentially costly, businesses tend to find the payment of bonuses and rewards to be the most obvious and easiest way of motivating people.

But, the financial incentive usually offers only short term benefits. Once an individual becomes used to receiving a bonus, the benefit can be seen to be of less value.

While the financial factor should still be recognised, there are other steps managers can take to motivate staff. These can be adopted within the management discipline.

Try to share the big picture with your staff. Imagine yourself in the front of a large mirror. You see yourself and your surroundings. That should be the view an employee has of the company. The whole picture and where they fit into it. What we tend to do is smash the mirror and give each member of staff their little bit.

If each individual fully understands why a particular task is required they will feel more inclined to do it well.

And start looking for examples of good work. It can be usual to produce nine out of ten excellent pieces of work yet only get recognition for the tenth. This can be a significant factor to feeling de-motivated.

Manage performance
In a busy and demanding environment it is easy to highlight matters that seem to be problematic rather than those being carried out well. We all like to, and sometimes need to, know when we are doing well.

The foundation stage of being able to monitor and manage performance is being able to provide regular and valuable feedback. Also it helps people to see and feel the impact of their contribution.

Remember to break down goals or objectives. Consider a football team which will spend 10 months trying to be the overall winner. The manager breaks down this objective into smaller ones (each individual game). The manager talks to the players before every game about their tactics, at half time to discuss progress and after every game to review performance.

If you have an employee who has, what you perceive to be a negative characteristic, such as being stubborn, try to think of how that can be used within the business to have a positive effect rather than trying to change it.

Second look
While a reorganisation of the company is rarely feasible, take a step back and have a second look at the functions people do in their present role. People tend to work better when conducting tasks they feel they are most suited to.

Remember to delegate the task not the procedure. Let them choose how they work to achieve the result. As a manager, your way may not be the only way and, dare I say it, may not necessarily be the most effective way.

Generally, people like a challenge. If they are not stretched the task can be boring. Opportunities for challenge could be offered through 'multi-skilling' or job rotation. Friendly competition and recognition as a whole can also be important motivational factors.

Most people want to work hard for those managers they respect and admire. Applying some simple but effective management 'tactics' may help to achieve this. IT

' Elizabeth Mills is head of HR, compliance and training at The Broker Network