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How can employers motivate staff?

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Employee wellbeing is inextricably linked to engagement so how do companies create a healthy environment in which staff members feel motivated?

“Great companies need great employees and great employees need great companies”, according to pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma, which is in the business of making products that keep people healthy.

And when it comes to looking after its own employees, Astellas Pharma goes the extra mile to make sure they create an environment in which staff members can be as productive as possible. It’s no surprise then, that HR development is ranked as the single most important issue for the company.

One approach the company has to improve employee wellbeing is to think very carefully about its shared office space. While not every organisation can deck their working environment out with log fires and chairs that look like they’ve been upholstered with grass, they can have an employee-led building.

This means letting staff members have a say in how they would like their office to look and allowing them to choose where they prefer to sit. This will give a strong sense of ownership making the office a home from home, the pharmaceutical company says.

As a result, 82 per cent of staff at Astella’s say the facilities contribute to a conducive working environment.

Another important consideration – and one of the biggest challenges faced by many employers and employees – is work pressure.

Arjen Vermazen, HR manager at the company, told HR Magazine: “It’s striking the balance between putting a little bit of pressure on so people go the extra mile and relieving the pressure at the right time so they can recharge again.”

This means offering employees access to assistance programmes and coaching so they learn techniques to help deal with heavy workloads. On top of this, it’s important to have an open door policy, if people have problems they need to be able to communicate them.

After all, if people are mentally healthy and know their employer cares, this is bound to boost productivity.