'The key to everything is team'
In the most recent episode of OxTalks – sponsored by leading national law firm, Mills & Reeve – we spoke to Sarah Powell to gain her opinions on how to create a happy and motivated workforce.
As HR Director at Le Manoir and Interim Area Director of HR for Northern Europe and Africa at Belmond, Sarah motivates her team through a democratic leadership style. She discusses how her “operational hands-on” approach to team management has made Belmond a “desirable” workplace.
From studying an undergraduate degree in Modern European languages at Durham University to becoming the HR director at Le Manoir, a Belmond hotel – Sarah has extensive experience within the management and hospitality sector. With the advantageous skill of modern languages on her side, since February 2021, she began mentoring people from across the globe in all aspects of hospitality.
Sarah’s history of helping and supporting people didn’t end with mentoring; her selfless acts are reflected in her management approach at Belmond, where staff are treated as family. Coming from an operational background, Sarah understands the challenges of managing a team. The democratic leadership style she displays is attributable to her mindset of “always do what you promise” when guiding a team, creating trust amongst the workforce by showing “credibility in what you do.”
Through creating an environment that encourages the team to work closely together and learn from each other, the employee retention rate at Le Manoir has seen a 10% improvement since Sarah joined in 2019, showcasing the results of her efforts. She believes in building on the team you already have rather than adding to it – strength over numbers – and motivating staff as they feel valued by their employer.
WATCH: OxTalks series two, episode four: 'How to create a happy and motivated workforce'.
To discover our top tips for building a happy and motivated workforce, read on…
Foster recognition and appreciation
Fostering recognition and appreciation within a workforce is a powerful motivator that positively impacts employee morale and productivity. When individuals feel acknowledged for their contributions and efforts, it creates a sense of value and validation. Recognition reinforces a positive work culture, boosting employees' self-esteem and job satisfaction.
Development is individual
Investing in individual development can be a powerful motivator for your workforce. When employees see opportunities for growth and skill enhancement, it instils a sense of purpose and commitment. Providing access to training programmes, mentorship and career advancement avenues aligns personal aspirations with professional goals and signals that the organisation values its employees' continuous improvement.
By offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote working options or adaptable schedules, employers demonstrate a commitment to work-life balance, acknowledging the diverse needs of their employees. This flexibility fosters a sense of autonomy and trust, empowering individuals to manage their responsibilities in a way that suits their circumstances.
Keen to learn more from Sarah herself? Tune into the full episode wherever you get your podcasts.