People & Leadership

Small talk with Peter Jones: How to motivate and empower your employees

In our Small Talk series, we delve into how your business can tackle some of the many challenges you face so you can elevate your performance.

Peter Jones, our Sage customer for life, sat down with interviewers Nina and Jed to talk about what you can do to ensure your business can perform at its best.

Plus, there are a few challenges that Peter was set by his intrepid interviewers. Watch the video to see how he got on and below is a transcript, followed by some advice on how you can motivate and empower your employees.

Nina: Hi Peter, I’m Nina.

Peter: Nina, great to meet you.

Nina: This is my colleague, Jed.

Peter: Wow.

Jed: Can you tell us three ways that businesses can keep their finger on the pulse?

Peter: Three ways? Keeping their finger on the pulse?

Well, one, always make sure that you’re up to date with the latest tech you can use in your business, because it advances so quickly and you can easily be left behind.

Keeping up to date with what’s going on with people. Really important.

Then the other thing is most important of all. It’s making sure that you’ve got time on your hands, across your entire business, to focus on driving and pushing for growth.

So always looking for the next opportunity to grow your business.

Jed: How do you keep your team happy and make them do good work?

Peter: I think you take – firstly, really important to communicate with your team and also spend time working out what their problems are within the business.

What’s stopping them from doing their job really well. Because that’s really important.

People can get inundated with paperwork and the boring things, but it’s about motivating people and helping them unlock problems that they’ve got. So, spending a bit of time understanding what their problems are.

Jed: What if the business people aren’t very good at technology? Can they get somebody to help them?

Peter: Do you know what? There’s lots of businesses, and even businesses that I’ve invested in, and invest in, that are not brilliant at technology.

It’s not all doom and gloom if you haven’t got the right people in your business, because there are people out there that can give you the right advice, that are available at the end of a line, 24/7, on the telephone.

They can talk you through almost any technical issue you have with your software.

Nina: Back to the fun things. Car races.

Peter: Car races?

Jed: Yes, so I’ve got…

Peter: You’ve got a car in there [pointing to Jed’s briefcase]?

Jed: We’re going to have a race to the wall over there.

Peter: Ok.

Jed: And see who wins.

Peter: First one to the wall?

Jed: Alright, then. Where are we starting from?

Peter: We’ll start from here.

[Peter, Nina and Jed race their cars]

Peter: That’s it, I’ve won. Thank you. Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? I love winning car races.

Small talk with Peter Jones: Check out the rest of the series

Three ways to motivate and empower your employees

1. Understand what motivates your employees

Some people think money is the only thing that motivates employees – but they’d be wrong. There’s little doubt that it’s important but the world of work is increasingly sophisticated nowadays and people are simply not that straightforward.

You might find that your employees are happy to work for lower pay in an environment where they’re trusted to get the job done, even if that means working from home one day a week.

So take the time to find out what motivates your employees then focus on delivering that for them.

2. Make life easier for your people

Technology can play a key role to make life easier for your employees. Take payroll, for example. The old days of paper payslips and printed forms are long gone for most businesses now that compliance legislation means data must be protected.

And this brings with it opportunities to make life easier for your employees – with rewards in terms of engagement too.

Your employees can be provided with mobile apps that ensure they have easy access to everything they require, such as secure access to their payslips and the ability to enter information for timesheets.

Not only will this save time, effort and costs on your side, it hands control to your employees.

3. Offer flexibility

Not only do employees want flexible working hours where possible but they’re most likely starting to demand it. Try switching your thinking from a nine-to-five culture to one where your employees are trusted to achieve the outcomes demanded of them.

That trust will go a long way.

By using cloud-based software, for example, you can make this flexibility a reality. Not only can a move to cloud computing lead to a reduction in IT costs, it means your employees can access data when they need to.

Final thoughts on motivating and empowering your employees

Your people are your most important asset. So take the time to prioritise employee wellbeing and focus on delivering on your benefits strategy – by doing so, not only will you retain your staff, you’ll attract new talent too.

Money is important but so are other things, so communicate with your employees, offer praise and say thank you for their hard work.

And empower them – provide your employees with the tools to make their lives easier. Try offering self-service tools, such as HR portals, for example, so they can keep their payroll details up to date, book holidays and review performance data.

By giving your employees what they need so they can perform at their best, you’ll be able to elevate how your company performs.

Perform at your best

Discover how to improve productivity, make smarter decisions and empower your people so you can elevate the performance of your small business.

Download your free guide