6 Moneyless Motivators That Make Employees Work Harder

ID-100142423Everybody needs money.  Some of people have a number in their head. Once they reach that number, more money loses its luster and they are uninspired by it.  There is nothing wrong with being this way as an employee but as an employer, how do you motivate these people when they work for your business?

Personally, I hope people aren’t motivated by money in their jobs. I hope that people are motivated to come to work because it is what they enjoy doing. I know that’s fairly utopian of me but if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing and money is the only motivator, you’re probably doing it for the wrong reason.

“Help Me Help You”

If you’ve got an employee that’s not motivated by money, you have to figure out what does excite and motivate them to help them help you. It’s in your best interests to make life better for your employees so they continually want to come to work and work hard.

1. Work Environment

The camaraderie of the people around them is a major factor that can help you motivate employees in your organization. If you notice that it is particularly important to your staff, make sure that they are part of a team or environment that supports that.

2. Give Them Security

Having a steady job and knowing that their family has the security of a healthcare and dental plan can have a tremendous effect on your bottom line as a business owner. Give them the peace of mind in areas that require the most ease, such as knowing they are working on some level of a pension system. You have to work with people with all sorts of backgrounds and family situations– everybody’s needs to feel secure are different.

3. Let Them Choose Their Coverage

One of the things we’ve done at BDO is implementing a flex health care system. It’s a very unique system that comes up with an amount of funds that the corporation or employee put into a pool and then they are able to use it however they want.

Instead of me telling them they have to buy life insurance, dental and medical, which is the traditional method – we give them a shopping list and a bank account and let them spend it the way they want. I’ve noticed this can motivate employees since they are empowered to make the choice themselves.  Flexibility is key to happiness for many employees.

4. Pay Them Well

The assumption that I’m making with all of these recommendations is that your employees are already earning proper salaries for the position they are doing. That is key. You need to make sure you pay people properly for the function they are performing.

5. Appreciate Them

Most of us have a longing to do something that has real meaning in our lives. Showing appreciation to employees and showing them that their hard work truly is significant is very important. Take the time to commend great work in your organization and shine a light on your stars.

Research has shown that this is especially important with Generation Y, as they are more likely than any other age group to leave their current position if they feel underappreciated.

More importantly, over 80% of employees in a study by Glassdoor said they are more motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. Only 40% are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or because they fear losing their job.

6. Create An Incentive Program That Actually Works

Years ago I had a construction client that had terrible turnover in their business. We came up with a system that would give employees points for various reasons ranging from simple things like arriving on time to going above and beyond.

The big prize of the year was two jet skis. The boss would drive up every day with the both jet skis on trailer to the big worksites so that everyone would see them and know that was what they were working towards. Every employee knew exactly what day there was going to be a party and the date for that party was going to be AFTER the busy season so it would greatly reduce turnover. If you weren’t employed, you weren’t part of the party and all the points you racked up during employment would go to waste.

Every point gave them a ticket to go into the final draw to win the jet skis. In theory, someone with one point could win but those who went above and beyond and had multiple points greatly increased their odds. We made sure there was a prize for everybody but the first draw got first pick and we went down the table from there.

Did that motivate those guys to come to work everyday on time? Yes.

Did it motivate them to go above and beyond? You bet.

Did it motivate them to stay employed instead of looking for another job? Absolutely.

Keep in mind that these employees were still paid great wages. The opportunity to win a jet ski was an additional bonus for doing the things they were already paid to do.

The Difference Between Manipulation & Motivation

Some people might call think this sounds like manipulation but it’s motivation. The costs associated with doing something unique dwarfs the gains that a simple 2% raise will give. That’s the sort of thing we are trying to move away from.

If you are already paying high salaries, you might need to come up with different ideas that motivate employees to work hard every day. Being creative can save turnover and wage costs, and you may just find what truly motivates your staff.

What do you do to motivate employees before resorting to raises or bonuses? Let me know in the comments below.

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