New year, new goals. The start of a new calendar year is just as important as the start of a new financial year. For many, it’s a fresh start or a new opportunity to improve and develop existing skills – so how should a company harness this timely occurrence to benefit both employer and employee? Here are 10 great ways to motivate your workforce in 2015.

1. Offer regular feedback 

Feedback (both good and not so good) is important to an employee’s development. So making sure every member of your staff has someone senior to talk to is paramount to creating a successful team. Don’t only complain when they are not doing well or fail to deliver on milestones. Complement a good work done too. Let them know what works and what doesn’t. And provide resources for them to improve on their skills.

2. Make appraisals a priority

Appraisals can sometimes slip through the net but it’s vital that your HR team do not let this happen. This is a key opportunity for employees to get a full review (and sometimes the only chance to discuss pay rises or bonus schemes) so it’s important that appraisals are completed fairly, and on time. People want to know how their efforts are helping the company. Don’t withhold appraisals.

3. Provide relevant training 

Training not only improves the skillset of your team but it also shows your staff that you are willing to invest into their future which is great for staff retention. Your employees are your greatest assets. An employee’s personal growth can also have a significant impact on the overall productivity of your company. But remember to make the training relevant; companies such as Redcliffe Training offer specialised training programmes which are pertinent and beneficial to both employer and employee.

4. How about a social secretary

Socialising with your staff (and encouraging them to socialise with each other) can be good for team-building and morale. Appoint a social secretary who will be responsible for organising all after-work events and social events. A happy workforce that that interact well with each other can be comfortable at work and deliver without holding back. Invest in team building exercises and take advantage of social events to help your employees work together better.

5. Plan a team building day 

Team building days are a fantastic way of increasing motivation within your company. Not only that, but a team building day can also allow staff at all levels to interact/work with people from different departments. Give it a try in your company and see how it turns out. The benefits of team building day can be enormous when done right at the right time.

6. Make a feedback Box 

Not only is it vital to provide your team members with feedback, but it’s also important to listen to feedback. If you want to encourage open discussion, set up a monthly forum for employees or put an anonymous feedback box in the staff canteen. You could even create a schedule to make time to listen to employee concerns. Show them that you care about their opinions.

7. Give your team ownership

Giving ownership will help your team grow and develop. Delegating clear responsibilities for each person in your team will help you achieve this – and regular reviews will help you monitor progress.  Don’t micromanage your workforce. Nobody likes that. What you should be doing is managing the process and giving your teams time to deliver at expected times.

8. Create bonus/reward programmes

Rewarding your staff will help to motivate them towards achieving targets and goals. Make sure you incentivise your team with bonuses at the end of each quarter or financial year. Plan reward programmes that could encourage healthy competition and improve productivity.

9. Build healthy and lasting relationships 

For some, role type or salaries are not the main motivation. Some employees thrive on the relationships they have with team members. Encourage relationships with social hours or team/job swapping days and don’t forget to mingle yourself.

Most people work hard and stay at a company faithfully through good times and bad times. Unfortunately  at the first sign of revenue stress, lots of businesses lay off their expendable workforce. Demonstrate that your are dedicated to your employees and the stick with you long enough.

10. Don’t micromanage..ever

Although not suitable for everyone, autonomy can be the biggest motivator in the workplace. Let your team take responsibility and let them make key decisions within their departments. It’s easier to create a culture of accountability with accountable people. Hire the right people and leave them to get the job done.

Employees are much more likely to “own” their work when they help create or have a voice in what they’re doing. When you clearly articulate expectations for the week, month or quarter, trust that your team will deliver on that when given the opportunity.