Motivating Your Employees While on a Budget

By Ta'Rikah Jones

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Your employees are your most important asset, so it’s critical to keep them happy and motivated to work their hardest each day. However, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it can be challenging to offer attractive financial incentives to keep your team satisfied. Thankfully, money isn’t the only thing that fosters employee satisfaction. In fact, there are a number of low- and minimal-cost ways to keep your team motivated without breaking your budget.

10 Tips for Motivating Your Employees

Need a little help inspiring your staff? Use the following ten tips to help boost employee motivation while on a budget: 

1. Recognition/attention and social media mentions: When your employees do something great, compliment them! Bring up their achievement at the next staff meeting, send an email praising their hard work, or even post the accomplishment and their picture on your company’s social media sites ? with their permission, of course.

2. Career path: Give your employees a place to grow their career at your company. Meet with them to develop a solid path of progression and, when possible, always try to promote from within rather than looking outside for new talent.

3. Mentor everyone: No matter how far along your employees are in their careers, they can always benefit from having a mentor. Pairing younger employees with more experienced workers can be mutually beneficial, as each generation can learn valuable lessons from the other.

4. Free team-building events: Have fun with your team and get to know them a little better by planning free, or very inexpensive, teambuilding events. Gather everyone together for a fun game of kickball, have a brownbag picnic, or host an after-work happy hour.

5. Time off contests: Create contests offering employees the chance to win paid time off. Set goals and encourage people to meet them ? either on an individual, group, or team basis ? to qualify for the paid time off.

6. Telecommuting options: Flexible working options are becoming increasingly common, so allow your staff to enjoy this benefit whenever possible. Stay in close contact with everyone and schedule regular status meetings to ensure no one is slacking.

7. Good work environment: Take a look around your office and reflect on the working conditions to see what you could improve. Employees place a very high value on their working environment, so things like giving the office a fresh coat of paint, hanging a few pictures, regulating the temperature, and purchasing new desk chairs for everyone can increase company-wide motivation.

8. Leadership roles: Not only is assigning leadership roles a great way to identify employees with the potential to hold to higher-level positions in the future, it’s also an excellent way to reward people for a job well done. Start small by assigning people to lead meetings, training sessions, and project teams to work on developing their skills.

9. Create an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP): Motivate your employees to work their hardest by establishing an ESOP and literally giving them a piece of the company. They’ll directly profit from the success of the company, which serves as a great incentive to come to work each day ready to give 110%.

10. Casual dress days: People love to be comfortable and dressing in business clothes is typically far from the level of coziness most prefer. If possible, allow casual dress days once or twice per week as a nice perk for your employees. You may be surprised at how much this small gesture can boost morale.

Encouraging your employees to want to do their best work each day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Many people actually prefer to receive non-cash incentives, as they add greater value to their lives. Take the time to determine which motivators mean the most to your staff, and then incorporate them into your company culture.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

About the company...

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