Productivity is top of the government’s agenda for improving our economy. However, according to the Employee Engagement: How British business measures up report only a third of British staff are highly engaged at work.
Surely we cannot even begin to look at enhancing productivity until we have good levels of involvement from our employees?
Engaged staff have a greater output, so what can you do to increase your sales team’s levels and better their productivity too?
1. Encourage development
The report confirmed almost all highly engaged staff have a manager that cares about them, have someone who encourages their development, and have opportunities to learn and grow.
People in sales are very likely to be driven by ambition and challenges, so it’s vital you give these opportunities to your team. It can be as simple as giving your staff a chance to speak their minds and be heard, allow them to see that their work counts and makes a difference. If their ideas are implemented into the business make sure you celebrate their actions and communicate the success across the company too.
2. Master skills inside and outside of work
Training is important in every job – especially sales. However, the report shows 21% of people have never received training while being at their company.
Given opportunities to master skills inside and outside of work has a huge impact on engagement. The research confirms out of the employees who had training within the last six months, 53% of these were highly engaged. The high engagement figures drop dramatically for training taking place on a yearly (17%), bi-yearly (7%) and tri-yearly basis (10%).
Come up with a six monthly training plan for your sales team and communicate this plan to them. If budget is an issue, look at other ways you can fulfill training needs, for example use in-house employee skills instead of recruiting someone externally.
It’s also important for staff to master their own skills, outside of work. These opportunities don’t have to arise too often, perhaps give them a chance to learn one new skill on a yearly to bi-yearly basis.
3. Don't forget to say thank you
Just 18% of all British employees received a verbal thank you from their manager in the last 12 months.
The research also found that while 80% of highly engaged staff received some form of reward or recognition for work well done, just 35% of those who have no engagement at work receive such treats.
Recognising hard work can make your sales team’s engagement go from moderate to high. Reward your staff with something meaningful and memorable, such as an all expenses paid meal out or a weekend away. These types of prizes will keep your employees motivated for longer as they’ll talk about their reward pre, during and post the event.
However, it’s important to remember that a good old fashioned handshake and a face-to-face thank you is probably one of the most rewarding things you can do – never underestimate a simple thank you.