Easy Ways to Motivate Your Staff on a Budget



Ever notice how some leaders have an uncanny ability to motivate their staff? Their employees always seem so engaged and satisfied with their job.

You want your employees to feel the same way, except you're not sure how to motivate your team without added compensation.  It's easy to assume that more money is a strong influence on employees to do their best work.

However, to motivate employees, there is a combination of factors including feeling connected, empowered, appreciated, and rewarded. The following ways will help develop these positive feelings and grow the employee motivation you crave.


Reward With Actions

Instead of physical rewards, think of actionable rewards that spark employee interest and unite the team. For example, have managers ring a bell when a large sale is made. Or play the Rocky theme song when a big job is completed. It will get workers talking, laughing, motivated, and excited to overcome the next hurdle.


Boost Morning Morale

Who likes mornings, especially Monday mornings? Showing your staff you appreciate them on what can be the hardest day of the week will go a long way. What better way to energize the team than offering breakfast?

A small breakfast spread of fruit, granola bars, bagels, or muffins is relatively inexpensive and can be a positive start to fuel the week ahead. 


Host Dress Theme Days

There can be room for a little fun in the workplace. Develop an environment where employees can enjoy themselves and they'll want to do the work. Hosting dress theme workdays is an idea that can bond your team and create a positive experience. 

First, brainstorm ideas with your employees. Then, schedule days throughout the month with themes - like wearing your favorite sports team memorabilia on Wednesday. 


Offer Flex Time

Free time is one of the most precious forms of compensation. Consider giving your employees a few paid flex hours in the morning or afternoon for a job well done.


How can you begin a flex reward program?

Create a clear set of expectations for how to gain and use paid hours. Produce a system of achievement criteria to ensure hours are given fairly to each employee. Institute an approval process for requesting the use of rewarded flex hours. And establish a flex schedule to make sure you'll have coverage for your business while employees are away.


Rethink Titles

Some of our pride can be in the job titles that we hold. After all, our occupation can sometimes be the first topic of conversation when we meet someone new. The way that we feel about our title affects our morale and motivation while employed.

A few subtle changes in your employee job titles could make a difference in how your employees feel about their job. For example, instead of the title “client service representative”, try “client satisfaction specialist.” Both positions do the same thing, yet the second describes more on the impact that the individual has on the organization.


Encourage Creative Thinking

Empowering employees to think creatively at work increases motivation. But how does one encourage another to be creative? One way is setting closer team deadlines to push employees to think outside of the box to get a job done. When given less time for a task, people are likely to work smarter, be more creative, and be more resourceful.

So think, are there task deadlines you've pushed out that can be realistically reached sooner? Experiment with closer deadlines and think of small fun rewards like a coffee break when they're met. It will motivate your employees to reach new heights while encouraging teamwork and creativity towards a common goal. Win, win.


Keep Things Fresh

When tasks get monotonous, employees can tune out. And you can't fault them - it's human nature. Switch things up a little bit and reclaim your team's attention. Employees get excited and motivated when learning something new, so tune into that scholarly need and nurture it.

Show employees you value their work by offering continuous training or one-on-one coaching opportunities. Let employees know that you're their biggest career growth advocate. Offer any assistance in teaching them skills that will allow them to pursue their career goals.


Get Creative With Employee Benefits

One important consideration is around employee benefits. If companies are to successfully build, grow, and nurture a workforce, they’ll need to offer employee benefits that reflect and are relevant to the changing nature of work. And what motivates employees more than perks and benefits?


Read this whitepaper to learn some of the best practices around remote work that have been learned through trial and error, especially as they relate to employee retention, as well as the changing landscape around employee benefits for remote workers, and how other companies are getting creative with employee benefits. 


Click here to learn more about how SyncHR HCM can help streamline your HR operations and support employee engagement and retention.




Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on PrimePay’s blog and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Please read our disclaimer here.



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Brittany Brooks

Brittany Brooks

Brittany Brooks has worked in Human Resources as an HR specialist and manager for about ten years combined. After that time, she decided to use her powers for the good of the workplace and now uses her first-hand experiences in her writing to give business owners and HR professionals an honest look into what’s happening in their offices. She advocates for meaningful employee retention and improving the employer-employee relationship.

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