Tip #3 Boost staff's sense of worth
Financial compensation is not enough. To make sure co-workers feel recognised, you need to boost their self-esteem! “A feeling of being worthwhile is the key for co-workers to stay motivated. You can get them to work on a subject they master well to show off their skills or ask them to present a project to all the company to highlight the work they have done”.
The culture of feedback should be seen at all levels of the company and be applied both to group meetings and to one-on-one interviews. “Managers are the main ones involved in giving recognition, hence the importance of supporting them and continually training them on this kind of theme”.
At Sport Heroes, the HR teams have set up a number of "rituals" aiming to highlight and recognise work of staff:
- Every month, Sport Heroes organises “Share Your Success”: an informal event during which staff present the projects they are particularly proud of!
- Every year, when it is time for individual interviews, staff are asked to give the names of colleagues they would like to have feedback from (anonymously or otherwise).
Tip #4 Count on the company culture and "rituals"
Rituals are part and parcel of a company's culture. They are events everyone knows about and looks forward to. “The idea of rituals is very important in a company: it reassures staff, it gives them a framework. They know where they are going and what is expected of them."
At Sport Heroes, many regular events have been turned into rituals! They are important for forging the team. This is the case of Newsweek, for example, a 30-minute meeting on Tuesday mornings to discuss company news: “It's only 30 minutes, but it sets the tone for the week! Everyone looks forward to Newsweek, we get together with all the teams at the same time, so they all have the same amount of information”
While the company culture is vital to motivate and engage staff, it has also become essential for potential future employees: “It is an important element in recruitment: candidates ask us more and more questions about our values, our culture and our mission”. The generation arriving on the job market is more demanding and more attentive to these issues: “We have more and more candidates who apply not because the job interests them, but because they are attracted by the mission. It's very powerful."
Tip #5 Protect mental health and the life-work balance
A poor life-work balance can lead to a burnout and to staff losing commitment. The HR department needs to make sure that the right balance is maintained.
To do so, it can make use of flexibility: “providing flexibility is a great way to foster a good life-work balance”. Allowing staff to work from home several days a week means providing them with a more fulfilling professional framework. But this flexibility is not only applicable to working from home: “At Sport Heroes, our company culture is not to keep track of working time. We can, for example, take a long lunch break a few days a week to do some sport. Everyone sees this as something natural!"
And what about staff working from home full-time (full remote)? This is an extra challenge for HR departments: “Disconnecting is a very big issue for full-remote staff. It is harder for them to disconnect. We need to be particularly attentive to these employees and to listen when they raise the alert."
To deal with issues of mental health, which have become crucial during the pandemic, we can call in specialists on the question. Sport Heroes, for example, has partnered with MindDay: “It is a rare and striking commitment from the company: it illustrates our values.”
Tip #6 Management is involved in daily life and is close to teams
To motivate the teams, the company can rely on (and even must rely on) its managers. They embody the company's values and are sources of inspiration for staff on a daily basis. “At Sport Heroes, we are lucky to have managers who are incredibly inspiring, both in terms of work and of sport, and who are always close to their teams. We can go and play football at lunchtime with our CEO or go jogging with the team managers. And all in a totally natural way!"
Times to exchange can be set aside to break down partitions and encourage discussion between all members of the company. “It fosters proximity, sends out a good message to the teams and shows a willingness to be transparent. Every week at Sport Heroes, we organise the Thursday Café: Paul-Émile Saab (CEO - Sport Heroes) takes the time to answer questions from all the invited staff. It's a more informal occasion than our other meetings. And it also means staff who don't work together can talk and get to know each other better."
Tip #7 Support career development
HR teams have several tools at their disposal to promote professional development (and to engage employees in the process). First of all, to listen to others: are co-workers flourishing at work? Do they have other aspirations? Next, to set up a training plan: to stimulate staff and give them the chance to learn more and to develop. Another solution, chosen by Sport Heroes in particular, is to develop “career paths”: “this is a way to give staff visibility, to provide them with a framework and to help them project into the future and anticipate changes in their career”.
Tip #8 The essential seminar
It's not very original, but it shouldn't be brushed aside.
If you sense that your teams are a bit demoralised or demotivated, set up a seminar. “It really is something that works. We organised a seminar in September, and the feedback was excellent. People told us they really needed it, it did them good. It's a huge source of motivation internally and gives a new impetus to the group!”
💬 A last word from Mathilde Salobir, HR Director at Sport Heroes:
“If you sense lower morale in the company, my advice is to focus on a single stage of the pyramid: the need to belong. This is also the hardest to achieve. It is something intimate, difficult to grasp. You need to focus on day-to-day actions, on team events and company rituals. It all helps to convey a sense of the collective, to encourage collaboration and to pass on values to all the staff. Because, in the end, what boosts employees on a daily basis is not a job or an assignment. Staff don't stay in a company because they like their work or because they are having a great time professionally. They stay for their colleagues, for their manager. They stay for people rather than for assignments. ”