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How to Improve Employee Motivation for Small Businesses Without Budget

The Importance of Employee Motivation

Do you know what motivates your employees? As a business owner, it’s part of your job to know. Employee motivation goes beyond providing a pay cheque, and instead, becomes about creating the right workplace culture and experience so that your employees are not just checking in, checking out, and then going home. It’s about the commitment to the success of your business.

3 Main Reasons to Motivate Your Employees

There are a number of benefits to having highly motivated employees. When you take the time to build a strong workplace culture and employee experience, you’ll find that:

  1. Productivity is increased;
  2. Performance is better; and
  3. Retention is higher.
Employee Motivation is not Just About the Perks and Incentives

When employers think about what motivates their staff to do what’s expected (and to do it well), there are two thoughts that often come up. The first, being that it’s about giving them a raise and second, as offering more employee perks. While both are motivating factors, there are many other ways to make improvements without spending more than you’ve budgeted.

20 Ways to Motivate Employees for Small Business Without Budget

Driving employee motivation doesn’t mean that you have to increase your spend, especially when you’re running a small business and don’t have the budget. While incentives and work perks are great ways to motivate an employee, here are 20 ideas that won’t cost you in dollars, but rather, a little bit extra in time.

  1. Be transparent and communicate openly
  2. Have an open door policy
  3. Deliver on your promises
  4. Build a strong community-like culture
  5. Get to know your employees as people (not staff)
  6. Learn about your employees’ ambitions
  7. Provide one-on-one mentorship or coaching
  8. Let your employees take the lead
  9. Include staff in decision-making conversations
  10. Ask your employees for their ideas
  11. Encourage learning opportunities often
  12. Set individual goals and provide support to achieve them
  13. Offer specific and sincere praise (sometimes a simple ‘thank you’ is all it takes)
  14. Create a recognition wall in a public area
  15. Focus on positivity, rather than criticisms
  16. Minimize workplace negativity
  17. Prioritize work-life balance
  18. Allow flexible work hours
  19. Volunteer together
  20. Request for feedback to make improvements

As you can see, employee motivation is more than perks and incentives. Employee management doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or complicated, you just need to put in the time.