Happy people sell, according to Neville Wilshire, star of The Call Centre, BBC 3’s new fly on the wall documentary. Wilshire may be a little unorthodox in the way he handles his staff, but he makes a very valid point. Happy staff are more productive. Practical jokes, X-Factor style competitions and in-office speed-dating are not necessarily right for every company but, however a manager does it, engaging staff is the best way to ensure that they generate results.

There are many ways to engage employees and boost productivity. These do not have to be outlandish, and neither do they have to be a financial burden on the company. Offering rewards or benefits schemes that are tailored to the staff, such as high street discounts, reduced cost gym membership, or free cinema tickets are a surprisingly cost-effective way to make a real difference to employees’ attitude and fundamentally the bottom line.

Consulting with staff about what sort of rewards would suit them is the ideal way to get them working at their best. There is no need to get as personal as Big Nev; but HR departments and head offices would do well to learn what sort of incentives will work on their workforce. Once the most appropriate incentives have been decided, rewards and benefits systems can be easily and effectively put into place that will really make staff feel appreciated and give them something to strive for.

Enthusiastic and energised staff will have a better attitude to work, a greater sense of achievement and produce better results for a company.

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