Successfully motivating employees Employee motivation for SMEs

Here are three tips SMEs can use to attract and retain talented employees and motivate them to keep giving their best.

Why is employee motivation so important?

The relationship between work and salaries is undergoing change. Employees' sense of purpose and the desire for self-development in a job have increased significantly. A fair salary alone only applies to a limited extent as consideration for time and performance of your employees. The mix of individual recognition of performance, long-term care and genuine interest in your staff's wellbeing offers much more potential for a sustainable motivated team. AXA supports you in this with tips and persuasive offers.

New challenges for SMEs

The world of work is changing rapidly under the influence of digitalization. Sooner or later, more and more activities will be automated or taken over by AI, while new tasks are becoming increasingly more complex, therefore independent and committed employees are turning into an ever more critical factor for a company's success. 

Winning over, motivating and retaining these talents for as long as possible in the team to secure their know-how has become a key task for companies. But unlike large companies with international structures where whole departments can deal with the challenge, SMEs often lack the resources to be able to showcase themselves enough to qualified staff in the competitive environment. Of course, AXA will also support you as an SME partner in dealing with this challenge through persuasive offers on employee motivation that lighten the load for you in the daily work routine and enhance your appeal as an employer.


Increase employee motivation: Three strategies

The more you give, the more you get back. At AXA we believe this to be the case, so as well as salaries, we also offer our employees a broad range of additional benefits, from innovative work models to generous insurance benefits and special offers in all areas of life. Appreciative measures that not only increase motivation and willingness to perform, but also have a positive impact on our corporate culture, strengthen the feeling of belonging and attract applicants. You can now pass on three of AXA's attractive offers to your own employees, enabling you to offer SME benefits like a large company.

Tip 1: Health promotion

Employee motivation through care: Only healthy employees are motivated employees For this reason alone, companies should take a keen interest in the welfare of their workforce and invest in prevention as well as health promotion measures. This shows that they are not only taking their social responsibility seriously, but they can also pursue their own interests, as minimizing sickness-related absenteeism ultimately brings considerable time and cost savings over the long term. Another plus point: Employees perceive health offers from their employers as a symbol of true appreciation, and that in turn can boost their emotional loyalty considerably.

Here AXA supports you in optimizing all of your operating processes in such a way that employee wellbeing and motivation can be achieved and encouraged. Whether sports courses, seminars on stress prevention and relaxation, rest rooms or ergonomic workplace design.

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    WeCare – for healthy and motivated employees

    Whether preventive measures for better employee health or rapid assistance in an emergency: you can rest assured that with WeCare, your employees’ wellbeing is always in good hands.

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Tip 2: Fringe benefits

Employee motivation through supplementary benefits: Bonuses and premiums are used in many Swiss companies to motivate employees, but this form of extrinsic motivation can quickly have the opposite effect. For instance, if they can only be given out once on a small scale or not at all, or if financial incentives are only given to individual employees of your team rather than to everyone. Furthermore, special payments are subject to tax and social security levies, meaning that the beneficiaries never receive the amount in full. Fringe benefits are a rewarding alternative to gratuities. They can be awarded regardless of individual performance or the company's financial success, and offer real added value for your workforce's private and professional life. Whether gifts, discounts on internal products, flexible working models or free season tickets - you are guaranteed to gain plus points from your workforce and potential new employees.

Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits are an ideal way of recognizing good performance and strengthening the feeling of belonging to your employer brand. The latter can help enormously to minimize absenteeism and fluctuation and to stimulate willingness to perform. Furthermore, attractive supplementary benefits to salary are also an ideal incentive when recruiting new staff. The form in which you offer these is entirely up to you, but ideally they should chime with your company and corporate culture. Here are a few tips on how to motivate your team even more and show your respect and appreciation for the team beyond salary levels.

Family-friendliness: Companies that are looking to remain competitive on a permanent basis can no longer exclude well trained mothers from their ranks. Position yourself as a family-friendly company with helpful childcare offers, parental leave or flexible working hours in order to attract women with families into your team. And motivate parents who already work for you. 

More vacation: Additional vacation days or weeks generate a high level of employee motivation in two ways. Firstly, a workforce that feels refreshed is particularly motivated and full of new ideas, but secondly, the attractive work-life balance in your company also acts as a positive incentive for future staff members.

New work models: The daily working-from-home routine is familiar everywhere due to coronavirus, and it has shown how flexible work can be in terms of location and time. Incorporate innovative options for going to work into your offer, such as co-working spaces or job-sharing models. This not only improves the work-life balance of your staff, but also shows that you have confidence in your team, the way it organizes itself and communicates, which has a positive impact on happiness and motivation.

Mobility: Offering season tickets on local transport (free season tickets), free parking spaces or a company car so that your employees can get to work or another destination faster and more comfortably are easy ways of stimulating employee motivation.

Intrinsic motivation: By transferring competencies and responsibility, supporting personal goals or financially contributing to the professional development of your employees, managers can boost their staff's intrinsic motivation. This is because all measures encourage personal growth and strengthen the confidence and belief in the working relationship and the common goal.

Extrinsic motivation: Supplementary monetary benefits can also help improve performance and reach clear goals, but this need not always be in the form of bonuses: Individual vouchers, monetary assets or checks (such as Swibeco or Lunchcard) can equally motivate your employees.

Swibeco benefits platform: Swibeco is a digital platform on which you can easily reward your team with individual gifts and permanent discounts. For birthdays, service anniversaries, Christmas or to say thank you for particularly good work. You award points to your employees which can be used as cash on the platform - they can "spend" them according to their own taste and this is tax-free on both sides.   

Tip 3: Occupational benefits

Employee motivation through more retirement pension Using the pension fund to protect employees for old age and against the risks of disability is your obligation as an employer. Companies that see this task as more than fulfilling an obligation can use occupational benefits to motivate and retain the loyalty of their workforce, as choosing an OPA solution with attractive conditions and supplementary benefits indicates a genuine interest in the long term protection of employees. Furthermore, the costs associated with doing so - even for particularly generous OPA benefits - can be calculated accurately and can often work out less than paying premiums or bonuses.

More retirement pension

Falling conversion rates and low interest rates are scratching away at the image of occupational benefits insurance. As such, it is one of the most important social benefits that a company can offer its workforce. Under these operating conditions, an OPA solution with the prospect of up to 30% more pension represents huge added value in any employment relationship, both for the long-term loyalty and motivation of your team members as well as in the communication of vacant positions. AXA's collective foundations offer SMEs without their own pension fund reliable and attractive semi-autonomous OPA models that allow greater freedom in the investment strategy - this means more opportunities for returns and therefore above-average interest on your employees' retirement assets.  

More benefits

Choose your company's OPA solution that matches your staff structure and its needs, and offer more than the OPA minimum. In particular, managers and employees with high salaries can choose different pension solutions where the proportion above the OPA maximum salary is also insured. It also pays to improve retirement benefits and benefits for disability and death of your part-time workforce, as every investment in the pensions and protection of your employees is also one made in their motivation and loyalty.

More transparency

Companies that protect their employees with an AXA occupational benefits solution also simplify personal access to the pension fund: information, calculation tools and all current forms are available all the time on the myAXA digital portal, enabling staff to deal with queries themselves about their own individual situation and plan various future scenarios.

What you should know about employee motivation

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