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[edited by: jecasc at 9:45 am (utc) on Apr 13, 2011]
I know that money and extras are only the basic motivation for people, they need the feeling of beeing recognized and to have acomplished something. But I do not know how to do that anymore. What should I compliment people on? "Great you showed up for work today?"
But I do not know how to do that anymore.
FIRE YOUR SELF. (...)But, check the ownership/management first.
Perhaps the employees are no longer feeling challenged, as they used to be, and they don't need to think. Perhaps they are better suited to new challenges within your company, and you can employ people that are not bothered about having to think about the job. I've known members of staff that turn up, do their job, and aren't in the slightest particularly interested in being challenged at their job.The people that may want the challnge could easily be lost elsewhere. Better to keep them in-house to save the cost of retraining new staff.
They say they feel their work is not appreciated, I only point out when there are mistakes but don't compliment on achivements.
That maybe true, but I can't help that. I want to stay small business. The company size is pretty much what I feel comfortable with. Actually the whole obsession with more efficency is the result of trying to prevent the need of hiring more staff. I couldn't run a company with dozens of employees and I don't want too. I have seen it many times, people starting out like I did but then growing and growing, investing more and more and then either succeed but ruining their health or biting off more than they could chew and loosing all. So there probably won't be any new more challanging positions to be filled.
You said you couldn't run a company with dozens of employees. How about employing a manager to run that side of it? Or bring in a co-director that can? you can remain senior partner and enjoy the benefits of a growing business and growing profits.
Now I am at a point where growing would mean a larger investment. New warehouse, new storage racks, more employees
money and extras are only the basic motivation for people
Cross training on each other's jobs so that in the event of illness the company runs smoothly, some might find they want to swap jobs now and then to break up monotony.
All of this doesn't mean outside investment, maybe grow slower and continue to self fund. For instance, relocation to a new warehouse where you can expand into additional space and pay as you go.
Perhaps you are right and I need to think a little bit more outside the box.
Problem is you can do "down training" - train the accountant to fulfil orders - but hardly the other way round.
Considering you're ecommerce, the bank drops are probably all automatic anyway.
But that's the only way to stay competetive as a small business.
more employees - crossing a threshold that means stonger lay-off protection in my country
So, you can either hire someone with a larger vision than your own to take it to the next level, develop that vision yourself, or sit still.
I have talked to my employees and I know that motivation is a problem. I don't know how to deliver that. I have tried things not directly related to the work. Like sponsored lunch, free coffee and free soft drinks. Introduced a yearly bonus. Helped for a short time, but no long term effect. They say they feel their work is not appreciated, I only point out when there are mistakes but don't compliment on achivements. I have to admit I don't know how to do that. What's an achivement that's worth complimenting on and when is a compliment an insult? Or perhaps I am the only one who feels insulted by compliments.