It is easy for more employers to believe that employees can only be motivated to work harder through monetary incentives. Of course monetary incentives will definitely not hurt an employee’s motivation; there are other more creative ways to motivate employees without simply handing them a raise or a bonus check.
1. Make Fun Part of Your Business Model
I know it sounds like you are back in school and your teacher is trying to make the classroom a “fun place” to be, but making fun a regular part of work is a very effective way to motivate employees. By planning fun activities, whether it’s a monthly happy hour, a contest for the best screen saver, or volunteering as a team for the day, employees can get to know each other as real people. This will enhance the bonding between your employees which in turn will help boost team spirit and impact the work environment in a very positive way.
2. Write to Them By Hand
Each year, take the time to write your employees a sincere note thanking them for their work that year. Writing notes by hand is personal and will make your employees feel like you are invested in who they are as individuals and that you do not simply see them as your work drones.
3. Pizza/Popcorn/Potluck Days
These kinds of days are great every now and then to help motivate employees and break up the everyday routine in the workplace. People naturally get excited when they are anticipating something, so the anticipation of these days will help motivate employees. Be sure to structure them so everyone knows about them in advance and then everyone will look forward to it. It is also another great way to help your employees bond.
4. Mentor Everyone
Mentor programs in the workplace help employees connect with their peers and push them to think outside the traditional workplace roles. Be a coach to your employees and strive to always bring out the best in your team. Promote the diversity of your staff and help employees grow, connect, and find that good balance between work and life. This will help your employees feel like their job is more than a mere job; it is a part of their life on a deeper level which will encourage more devotion and motivation.
5. Be Creative to Motivate Employees
Create small rewards to make the most of your limited budget. These small rewards can be tailored to each employee such as a gift card to a nail salon or tickets to a baseball game. Choose rewards that are geared towards your employees because it will make them not only feel recognized, but also special. It will show them just how sincerely you appreciate their hard work.
If your company doesn’t have the funds to monetize rewards by increasing salaries and handing out bonuses, there are other ways to motivate employees to work hard and and make them feel special. An employee who feels as though their hard work is legitimately being recognized is an employee that will work harder for you and be more motivated to help your business grow.