Are you looking for ways to motivate your people? If so, you need to start looking beyond monetary incentives.
The reason? Employees aren’t motivated by money. Instead, they’re motivated by intrinsic motivators like being recognized for their hard work, flexible work time, growth and advancement.
The best part is that intrinsic motivators don’t break the bank. To help you get your team on the motivation path, here are 10 tips on how to motivate your employees without resorting to money.
Related Video: Seven Ways to Boost Employee Morale
1. Autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Daniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” has found that we’re motivated by three things:
Autonomy: People want to have control over their own work. Instead of being a “helicopter boss,” give your employees the chance to make decisions. For example, if you have weekly meetings, at least have your team decide the topic or select the snacks that will be present.
Mastery: Everyone wants to get better at what they do. Provide opportunities to show your employees how they’ve progressed. Give constructive feedback, provide performance metrics, and create individual development plans.
Purpose: People want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Show how their work has benefited the business. And, more importantly, show how their work has aligned with their values.
2. Offer specific and sincere praise.
There’s no such thing as too giving too much recognition and praise to your employees. A simple “thank you” note or shout-out during a meeting should suffice. Just make sure that you’re acknowledging tangible accomplishments.
In other words, you need to quantify accomplishments by looking at specific metrics. This could include sales volume, contracts/bids won, amount of customers retained, or increase in profitability.
3. Develop a community.
By building a sense of community your employees feel connected to each other - and not just to the business.
Online forums can be used, but you can’t replace old-fashioned in-person interaction. Encourage your team to eat lunch together. Play games to go everyone a break. Hold a conference or just throw a party to celebrate reaching a milestone.
By developing a community also influences after-hours bonding. That’s why you should always invite employees and their families to events like company picnics.
4. Engage your employees in the incentive process.
If you aren’t sure what will motivate your team, don’t be afraid to just ask them. For example, ask them what kinds of rewards they would like to receive through surveys, brainstorming sessions, a suggestion box, or questions during employee reviews.
Once you’ve gathered your employee feedback, you can create clear goals for them to strive for. Not only will this increase your business’ bottom line, it communicates the value for employee contributions. That itself should motivate them to participate in the incentive program.
5. Get to know them as people.
What are their hobbies and interests? Do they have any children or pets? When you build personal relationships with your staff, you can find out what makes them tick. For example, if they don’t like working late because of they have a dog, then consider allowing employees to being their dogs to work.
More importantly, when you show genuine interest in them, they’ll do their best not to let you down.
6. Offer flexibility.
Offering flexible work schedules allows your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This is because it allows them to meet family needs, personal obligations, and life responsibilities. Additionally, it lets them avoid commuting to work, reduces stress, and gives them a chance to work when they’re most productive.
7. Stay connected.
Frequently keep in touch with your employees. Thanks to the proliferation of email, texting, social media, and apps like Slack communication has never been easier.
Staying connected with your team allows you to offer training and tips that can improve their work. It also lets you share relevant and timely information like the latest updates on the business. Just don’t cross the line by communicating with them 24/7.
8. Provide perks and privileges.
Again, work-life quality is important to employees. When healthy, they’ll work harder and smarter because their workdays are more pleasurable and rewarding. If flexible schedules aren’t working for everyone, then give them a chance to earn work-from-home days.
Besides flexibility, provide preferred parking spots, longer lunches, or the opportunity to spend time on passion projects or tasks they enjoy. Remember, when employees enjoy their work, they’re more productive - and that’s great for your bottom line.
9. Volunteer together.
Does anything brings a group closer together than spending time sorting canned goods at the local food bank or raising donations for a nonprofit? I don’t think so. In fact, that’s why we’re seeing more and more businesses encourage volunteerism.
It’s not only good PR, volunteering increases productivity, boosts cooperation, and attracts and retains employees. Just remember to select volunteer opportunities that your employees are passionate about. Asking them through a survey is a simply way to find this out.
10. Offer the opportunity for employees to learn desired skills.
People get stuck in a rut when they perform the same work tasks day-in and day-out. When you’re in a rut, it’s easy to become less motivated, creative, and dissatisfied with your jobs. As a result, you can expect lowered productivity and higher turnover.
You can change that around by rewarding your exceptional employees with time during the workday to learn any new skills that interests them. It’s a simple way to enhance their job satisfaction, improve output, and increase their abilities that they can use to improve your business.