Two little words can go a long way

The new graduate intake at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Milton Keynes
The new graduate intake at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Milton Keynes

TWO little words - thank you - could help business survive and thrive as business conditions improve.

That’s the view of human resources experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes who say that some businesses need to do more to make sure they hang on to talented people.

According to the firm’s local human resources experts, employers in Milton Keynes are already getting some things right – for example by remembering to say ‘thank you’ to workers for their efforts and using on the spot awards of vouchers to encourage the right workplace behaviours.

These ideas can extend to ‘employee of the month’ awards, flexible working arrangements, or perhaps introducing staff suggestion surveys to give employees an opportunity to share their ideas about how the business can be run more efficiently.

HR expert Rupert Hutton said: “Bosses in Milton Keynes have been doing a good job just by keeping the business afloat, but they now need to focus on the effect that recent cost-cutting strategies have had on workplace morale.

“For those who want to take positive action, employers should conduct a staff attitude survey to find out how employees at all levels are feeling. Employers then need to decide how and in what areas they can take action to improve the position. There is a great deal that bosses can do to reward staff without necessarily increasing pay or introducing benefits that could incur an increased tax liability for the employee.”

For some employers, keeping morale high has proved difficult to achieve, particularly where employees have experienced a change in their job role or have been working longer hours to support the business through the economic downturn. Many employees have also had to endure a freeze on salary increases over this period.

Andy Groves, senior partner at PwC in Milton Keynes, added: “The employment pool in Milton Keynes is highly skilled and dynamic and employers in the area understand the importance of keeping staff happy and well motivated. Employers are understandably reluctant to increase financial rewards or pay bonuses at a time of continuing economic uncertainty but there is still plenty they can do to reward workers and boost morale in the meantime.

“Getting this right could give the business a competitive edge when it comes to attracting talent in 2011 and positive feedback from workplace surveys can be particularly attractive to potential recruits.”

> PricewaterhouseCoopers in Milton Keynes has recently welcomed 15 new graduates to the firm, as part of the ongoing expansion of the local office.

Andy Groves, senior partner said: “It is crucial that we continue to invest in recruitment in order to strengthen our local teams. We believe that local businesses and organisations both recognise and appreciate this investment back into the local economy.”

The new graduates will be joining the assurance and tax teams.