Ways to Motivate Employees Without Money
True or false: Money is the #1 motivator for employees?
More true than false, but hear me out. A good rule of thumb is that the further down the corporate food chain you are, the more likely that money is a top motivator. Is it any wonder, then, that fast food restaurants see front-line staff walking across the street for a $0.50 per hour pay raise. If you are dealing with a large number of minimum-wage employees, realize that individual incentives will likely be more meaningful than environmental incentives.
Motivating Without Money: Environmental Incentives
With that said, there are other effective ways to motivate employees without money, like using environmental incentives. Environmental incentives are those things that contribute to the general atmosphere of the workplace. Use these for numerous, creative ways of maintaining a highly motivated workforce.
Here are just a few of my favorite environmental incentives:
- Ask your team what motivates them. Gather your team and ask them as a group what motivates them to put forth their best efforts. Also be sure to ask what demotivates them. Uses these as a guide for what to eliminate and what not to eliminate in the workplace.
- Eliminate fear. The single biggest fear in the workplace today is your (the bosses’) reaction to employee’s mistakes. Let your team know that you are not to be feared as much as you are to be respected.
- Allow employees to rearrange the environment to best meet their needs. It’s so simple. If your team prefers to arrange your department a certain way and it does not directly interfere with safety, procedural or ethical considerations, let them do it! It’s where they live and they should feel like they have some control over their immediate workspace.
I give 17 more environmental incentives in our free eBook, Management 24/7. Get it now.
Motivating Without Money: Individual Incentives
Today’s employee is not so much impressed with how much logo-adorned company gear they can win, wear or hang on their cubicle walls. Instead, they are more impressed with how much time, energy and effort the company (that means you) takes to personalize the incentives.
A great way to motivate employees without money is to personalize an incentive. Ask your employees to complete a “favorites list,” with questions to identify their favorite candy bar, soft drink, hobby and color.
Armed with this information, what might you do to individualize an incentive? How about wrapping a coupon for a free round of golf around a six pack of Snickers, set it on top of a six pack of Diet Dr. Pepper and tie it to a blue helium balloon that says “Thanks!”
A great way to motivate employees without money is to individualize incentives for outstanding performance—as often as you can.
Learn More in Motivating Today’s Employees (Free eBook)
- Learn the biggest mistake in motivating today’s employees
- 6 fundamental truths of employee motivation
- 20 no-cost to low-cost incentives that inspire excellence