Over the years I tried several things to keep my staff motivated, increase job satisfaction and hopefully increase retention. Some of the ideas worked, and some of them didn’t. One of the best successes cost us nothing; but returned some of the best results in employee satisfaction and increased production. My staff had very little time to keep up on documentation, enter job orders, do credit checks, work difficult job orders or take on special projects that would add some variety to their job.
In order for them to accomplish these tasks they needed some quiet time; a difficult task in any office. With some creativity and backing from the ownership, we came up with a plan to allow each of the staffing specialist four hours a week outside of the office. With some trial and error I found a few guidelines that helped their ability to be productive:
- They could log in remotely from their homes to our staffing software and communicate with me via MS Messenger. No one else from the office could contact them during their “quiet time”.
- If we had an emergency, I would call them; but I decided if it was truly an emergency or if we could handle it. All of the staff had a partner in their division, so in most cases it was handled by them and never came to me.
- No one had quiet time on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. This was prime time and it would have been difficult to give to one person and not the other.
One of our staff members did not have internet at her home, so we set her up in the conference room once a week. We placed a note on the door and she was not disturbed. The staff used their quite time to catch up on their interview notes, work on difficult job orders and have some time to think. Even though they were out of the office four hours each week, they increased their production and overall job satisfaction. They felt like they got more done, had some time to do what was important to them, and enjoyed the trust of not being in the office.
This didn’t cost us anything, but provided a great return. Over the years I used several other methods of motivating and rewarding the staff, but none seemed to work as well as working remotely. Of course not every company is set up with the technology to work remotely or has the number of staff to do this. However, I would encourage you to try it, even if it’s not on a weekly basis. If you have a staffing specialist or recruiter that has a heavy load, ask them if they would like to spend a few hours outside of the office working. Some employees may not feel they would be as productive outside of the office, while others would welcome the change in scenery and the solitude.
Let me know if you give this a try or if you have tried it in the past. Do you feel like it worked? Do you feel like it motivated your staff?
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