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15 things that motivate employees more than money


If you’re wondering what your staff want from their jobs, or indeed from you, it might be obvious to conclude that more money is always the solution. Nobody is going to turn down a pay raise. But does it really solve all problems? Does it make your employees happy? Will it be enough to make them stay with your company, all other things being equal?

Interestingly, the frequency of the reward is more important than its size. Recognition can take many forms, and it’s essentially down to your management style and skills as to how this is best done.

The short answer is no. Many studies have been conducted on just this topic in recent years and the overall consensus is that money alone is not enough to buy happiness or motivate in the workplace.

Just imagine if you were paid a generous six figure salary for a job where you were expected to work to the point of exhaustion every day, surrounded by people who despised you, in a grotty office, and with a line manager who showed no interest or appreciation for your superhuman efforts.

Here are few zero- or low-cost ideas to motivate your people on a shoestring budget.

1.     Set goals: Everyone wants to feel like they’ve achieved something. If you don’t mark your destination on your roadmap, how will you know when you get there? Hitting collective, company-wide objectives will make your employees feel like they’re part of something bigger.

2.     Offer specific and sincere praise: There’s no such thing as too much recognition, as long as you’re acknowledging tangible accomplishments.

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.” Donald Trump

3.     Get to know them as people: What are their hobbies and their interests? Do they have children or pets? Build personal relationships with your staff, and they’ll do their all not to let you down.

4.     Listen intently when they’re talking: Remember that your staff are your eyes and ears with customers. By asking questions of your employees and paying attention to what they have to say, you might learn something that will help you run a more profitable business.

5.     Tell people why: Explaining the thinking or reasons behind a task you’re assigning to someone builds their understanding of what they’re being asked to do, and will help them do it better.

6.     Facilitate regular lively and informational meetings: Your employees want to know what is happening at the company where they work, and appreciate it when you fill them in.

7.     Offer timely and constructive feedback: Your employees want to know how they’re doing, good or bad. If you offer critiques constructively, they will listen and work to improve.

8.     Celebrate successes

9.     Treat them with respect: Respect begets respect, for you as a manager and for what you’re trying to achieve with your business

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. Stephen R. Covey

10. Offer flexibility: Don’t get caught up with quibbling rules. Think about your purpose and the bigger picture, and modify the rules where it makes sense to.

11. Eat together: Food is a great motivator. You don’t have to cater a fancy lunch every day—the occasional potluck works just as well.

12. Play games: It’s easy to get carried away with office-wide extracurricular activities, but the occasional break for fun can produce big results. If it’s feasible, offer small prizes—a little competition can up the entertainment.

13. Volunteer together: Nothing brings a group closer than spending an afternoon together sorting canned goods at the local food bank.

14. Declare dress-up and dress-down days: Why restrict jeans to casual Fridays? If your business environment and customer base allows, changing up the dress code can be a lot of fun.

15. Allow for creativity in decorating the work-space. People like making things their “own,” so don’t insist on clutter-free desks unless you’re working in a hospital operating room. A sports team poster or vacation photos can make a cubicle feel more like home.

Published On : Jul 10, 2020

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