Clear Sky Recruitment has well-defined and unambiguous ways to ensure its team delivers best results. Here, the Caerphilly-based business MD Ross Porter, shares his approach for motivating the team...

We pay our people what they are worth. When we set our employees’ salaries, we are sure that their pay is consistent with what other companies in our industry and geographic area are paying.

We provide the team with a pleasant place to work.
Everyone wants to work in an office environment that is clean and stimulating and that makes them feel good instead of bad. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make an office a more pleasant place to be.

We offer opportunities for self-development for all team members.
The members of a team will be more valuable to an organisation, and to themselves, when they have opportunities to learn new skills. We provide our team with the training they need to advance in their careers and to become knowledgeable about the latest technologies and industry news.

We foster collaboration within the team.
Sometimes employees don’t feel that their input is appreciated. We encourage the members of our team to fully participate by inviting their input and suggestions on how to do things better. We ask questions, listen to their answers, and, whenever possible, implement their solutions.

We encourage happiness.
Happy employees are enthusiastic and positive members of our team, and their attitude is infectious. Whenever possible, we try to keep an eye on whether or not our people are happy with their work. If they’re not, we try to solve any issues to prevent this unhappiness spreading.

We don’t punish failure.
I have been doing this job long enough now to realise that we all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. I think that the key is to learn valuable lessons from those mistakes so we don’t make them again. When members of our team make honest mistakes, we don’t punish them – instead, we encourage them to try again.

We set clear goals.
By setting clear goals for the team, everyone knows what they are tasked with and it’s also a feel good factor when goals are achieved.

We don’t micromanage.
Micro-managing is effectively clipping the wings of business flair among team members. We do offer full support to all, however, our team members enjoy managing their own daily tasks and schedules.

Which of these delivers best results?
It’s difficult to pin-point one method of motivation as being the one that delivers the best results as each team member is different and what will work best for one, may not work best for all. It’s a combination of several motivational methods which I believe work best.

Do incentives work in helping to boost productivity?
Yes. Incentives based upon achievement really does boost productivity of a business.

What kind of incentives work best?
Incentives don’t have to be expensive or uber-glamorous. I’ve offered a range of incentives within our business over the years, ranging from a simple Domino’s Pizza takeaway for the team to all-expenses paid luxury breaks. Again, the employer needs to think carefully about the characters within their team to work out what will appeal to them and boost productivity.

When it comes to setting goals with your team, an employer needs to ensure all goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-related. The more specific a goal is, the better your employee’s chances of success are. It’s a lot easier to make an action plan for. 

Goals should also be measurable. By breaking employee’s goals down into smaller, measurable elements helps them to stay on track. Consider these their goal ‘milestones’ to hit throughout the process. Team goals need to be attainable; as it’s fine for employees to be thinking big, but working toward an unattainable goal is going to waste time or resources. It can become problematic. Every goal needs to have a deadline. These can be linked to review cycles or another schedule, but they should have a specific time frame in mind.

Creating a positive team spirit in a company does not come easy. To effectively build teams, it is important to remember that teamwork is based on a company’s culture. 

I believe that companies that encourage open, honest communication and foster employee interaction are in a better position to have good teamwork among employees. 

Team spirit comes from the top. Building effective teams with the right attitude emanates from the highest levels of an organisation. Only by flattening the traditional organisational pyramid can one expect to instill the right team culture. In addition to this, people must fit the culture.
 Some people are team players and some aren’t.

It’s partly a question of personality and partly a matter of training. One person in the team with the wrong attitude can undermine the effort of the entire team. Hiring only people with the right traits for teamwork is crucial in building effective teams. I like to let everyone know where we, as a business, are going – this means making employees part of the strategic planning process and making sure they understand the goals. 

It’s important that every team member buys into the plan. Keeping communication lines open is also essential. Encourage frank and open communication among team members and management. Solicit ideas and suggestions from team members on ways to better achieve the team’s goals. It is important to keep morale high – Team members function best when their individual contributions to the team are recognized. This, in turn, leads to a strengthening of the team spirit among the workforce.

Setting goals at work is undeniably important. Setting specific and challenging goals inspires higher performance than setting none, or even setting ‘do your best’ goals which don’t really push people. Failing at the task of effectively setting team goals which link to wider organisational aims is detrimental to the productivity of your employees. If they don’t know why they are being assigned a given task or unclear where that task fits in a larger vision, they are less likely to feel a drive to do it.