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Posted on: July 17, 2017

As many businesses face economic challenges, more and more employers are looking for unique ways to keep their staff motivated without spending a ton of money. If you are in the same position, then you might find this e-tip of particular interest.

Unfortunately, many novice managers feel that the more money you pay someone, the happier they will be. Although a solid and reasonable compensation plan is critical to attracting and keeping key personnel, paying additional monies is not always the only answer, and in many cases, not even the best answer. To help motivate your employees, we have listed below 20 tips that will help you keep your team satisfied and happy.

1. Give a Leadership Position

Give deserving people a leadership role to reward their performance and develop their leadership skills…even if it is for a temporary project. A great place to start is to give a person a leadership role by allowing them to lead a meeting or handle a project by themselves.

2. Provide a Career/Learning Path

Most people need to know that there is a potential opportunity for growth. Be sure to tell people that the policy is to promote from within. Doing so will send a positive message to everyone that advanced career opportunities can come from within the organization.

3. Create a Nice Working Environment

It is no surprise that a recent industry study revealed that employees rank good working conditions high on their list of “must haves;” therefore, you must take the overall working environment seriously.

4. Implement One-on-one Mentoring

Internal mentoring is a free employee development program that costs only time. When mentoring someone, it is important to provide positive feedback during both your one-on-one sessions as well as in the public workspace. Whenever you recognize and encourage employees in public, it acts as a positive shot-in-the-arm for others who are close enough to hear what you are saying.

5. Create a Team Mentality

The fastest way to make this happen is to take a picture of everyone on your entire staff—do not forget to include yourself. After the pictures are taken, you need to hang them in a visible spot. Psychology professionals have confirmed that most people like to see themselves as part of a team and value an image of reference.

6. Provide Training

Internal training sessions enhance the performance and productivity of your staff. Also, “tune-up” training sessions completed after regular training sessions serve to reinforce the original content taught. You can hire a consultant or involve people at the company who have an aptitude in what is being taught.

7. Recognize Your Employees

When someone has accomplished something, your recognition is critical to reinforcing the positive side of things. If you do not give enough recognition, you are missing out on the most inexpensive form of reinforcement.

8. Initiate a Special Ovation

An easy but effective method of motivating someone is to give a round of applause for certain achievements. You can do this at meetings, company-sponsored social gatherings, a luncheon, or just in the office.

9. Assign Job Titles

When you consider a job title for an employee, be creative but appropriate. Ask your staff to give you their input for the correct title of a position. The right title is important and allows a person to feel proud of their position with the company.

10. Give Immediate Praise for Doing Something Good

When there is a reason for praising someone, do not wait to recognize their effort. In fact, why not start now? Look for someone doing something well and praise them; after all, immediacy equals effectiveness.

11. Give Recognition by an Executive

Even better than recognition by a manager is recognition by an executive at the company. This works especially well in bigger companies. However, use this secret weapon sparingly because the value will be lessened if this becomes commonplace.

12. Implement Dress-Down Days

For those required to “dress up” in business clothing every day, a casual day can be a welcomed change. You can also use individual or team dress-down days as a reward for winning a contest or for specific accomplishments.

13. Pay For Time-Off

People enjoy time off, and they will compete for leaving a half-hour early just as hard as they will compete for a cash award. Reward time off for goals that are reached by individuals, teams, or the entire staff.

14. Schedule Team Gatherings

Schedule a few off-site events to increase team spirit, which contributes to a positive work environment. You may want to get the team together for a softball game (against other companies or among employees, depending on staff size), miniature golf, or simply lunch at a favorite restaurant.

15. Delegate More Responsibility

Some employees thrive with additional responsibility. As a manager or business owner, it is your job to identify who deserves and can handle additional responsibility. Match responsibilities to employees’ strengths and desires whenever possible, and you will be empowering your employees.

16. Encourage Cost-Savings Comments

Give your staff a platform to contribute their ideas on how the company could save money. Post all of the comments that are appropriate to your business and the estimated cost savings. Be sure to address each comment and offer praise to the person or group of people who provided it. You may want to do this in the form of a handwritten note or an e-mail.

17. Create a Front Row Parking Spot

Reserve the best parking spot for an “employee of the month” or to reward someone who did something impressive.

18. Treat Employees to Pizza Days

Every now and then, treat your team members to pizza or another favorite lunch treat. This will motivate people by breaking up the everyday routine and allows you to show your appreciation for your employees.

19. Provide Access to Outside Workshops

Outside workshops can be a stimulating break. Because outside workshops are not always cost-efficient for the entire staff, use outside workshops as a reward for a select group of people.

20. Implement Fun Things to Do

Go to your local dollar store and buy some inexpensive items that you can give out to motivate your staff. Here are some ideas:

  • Plastic whale for someone who has done a “whale” of a job
  • Miniature soldier for someone in the field who did an excellent job
  • Clip-on stars for someone who gave star-studded presentation or performance
  • An old record that has been customized for someone who set a new record
  • A case of water for someone who was able to handle a “hot” customer
  • A figure of Gumby for someone who is flexible and willing to do anything for the team
  • A pack of “Eveready” batteries for someone who keeps going, and going, and going
  • A large container of candy for someone who just landed a sweet deal

Executive Summary

As you can see, there are many low-cost ways to motivate your employees. Some are even free. Decide what works best for your company culture. Once this is done, be consistent with your reward and recognition program. Consistent recognition will contribute to a positive work environment and increased productivity much more than random praise.

Are you ready to find out how Elements can help you easily manage your workforce?