Ways to Motivate Your Team That Don’t Include Money

Work environment

How do you motivate your employees? Now there’s the question of the decade! Did you know there are actually many ways to do so that don’t involve the standard methods of handing out bonuses and tossing out other forms of monetary compensation?

While those do work and are appreciated by practically every employee, you can’t necessarily hand out cash every time something goes right. Instead, you may have to get creative and think outside the box. Before you know it, you’ll have a team that knows how to meet goals and get things done.

Use Team-Building Exercises

Team-building exercises allow your employees to really get to know one another and see each other in a different, “non-work” light. If you want to have a successful team-building day, schedule it during the week. Don’t expect your employees to voluntarily spend their time off in a workshop or activity of any kind. That actually sows the seeds of discontent. Additionally, managers need to participate as well. It should be the whole team, not just the employees. Some suggestions for these workshops include doing volunteer work, such as serving at a soup kitchen, community pantry, Habitat for Humanity or anything along those lines. Others include interacting in casual environment, like going out to eat, playing laser tag, bowling or even going to a roller rink.

Truly Get to Know Your Workers

It only takes a few minutes each day to go around your office and speak to each worker individually. Ask them how their evening or weekend was and inquire about what they do for fun. Not only will this give you a heads up on any employees who might be struggling with their work-life balance and moving toward burn out, but it also allows you to get to know them a little better. If you include personal anecdotes in your conversations with them, they’ll get to know you as well. There’s nothing like having a good relationship with a boss to make an employee want to work harder.

Offer a Flexible Work Schedule

If possible, allow your employees to operate on a flexible schedule. This can be as simple as allowing them to start their day anytime between 7 am and 9 am, and then working a straight 8 or 9 hours. As long as the work gets done, they can do it during the hours they prefer. Some employees might be morning people, while others think better in the afternoon. Providing this flexibility helps build camaraderie. In addition, you can even allow them to work from home on certain days or as a reward for hitting certain milestones, depending on what their current project is, of course. The more autonomy you provide, the harder your employees will work.

Provide Plenty of Perks

It’s no secret that office perks help keep your employees motivated. While you don’t need to hand out spa passes or shopping sprees every day, just knowing that they can receive small rewards and even designating time out of the workday for them to use them when burnout is approaching, is usually enough. Other useful perks include paid holidays, paid personal days, catered lunches and even increasing vacation time. If you want to include perks that your company will benefit from, allow your employees to spend time on personal projects – related to your company mission, of course – during their workdays. Increasing lunch lengths and even offering a paid lunch period are options as well.

Use Your Words

You’d be surprised at how much a well-timed “great work on that project” or an “I appreciate you” will go towards motivating your workers. While you don’t want to sprinkle praise around the office frivolously, which actually waters down your true compliments, when someone does something great, let them know it. They’ll appreciate you noticed them and work harder as a result. It’s a win-win for the team!

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