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7 ways to keep your workforce motivated (that doesn't involve money)
Companies and businesses across the world all have the same issue and burning question at their core – how to utilise workforce motivation. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution that can be bought off the shelf and sprinkled liberally over your workers.
It takes energy, effort and creative thinking to truly motivate a workforce, although most companies tend to fall back on rewards that have their roots in money.
However, for start-ups, micro and small businesses, parting with money is not conducive or possible at certain points in the business year and thus, finding ways to thank and motivate staff that doesn’t involved money or some kind of financial reward is essential.
Some companies seem to get it right, and yet other fail miserably. What are some of the best ways to keep staff motivated and happy at work? It’s all about people and relationship.
#1 Build ownerships
The difference, it seems, between a motivated workforce and a less-motivated one is that one team feel that they ‘own’ the business, and the other workforce simply work there.
When people feel part of the bigger picture, they are more likely to be motivated and go the extra mile, when or if it is needed. This process needs to be kick-started, and one way that a company can do this is by making their crew feel that they are being invested in.
Investing the area and building in which they work is one way of showing the workforce how much they are needed. There are examples of all kinds of amazing offices and workspaces that help motivate people do a better job. Anything from supplying informal workspaces to cold drinking water is welcomed.
#2 Pushing the comfort zone
Can you imagine the boredom of doing the same thing over and over again? This is the prospect that some workers face. Hence they can be quick to leave employment. Allowing employees to spread their wings out of their comfort zone every now and then is one way of motivating people.
It is easy, however, to knock the good will of your team and the one way this is guaranteed when people ‘hear things on the grapevine’ or find out important information through a third party. Communication is key within any team and thus, talking and listening to your staff is important. Business is not always easy; there are lumps and bumps in the economy and so, sharing some of these with your staff can be one way of getting over them better and quicker.
#4 Grown adults!
Unfortunately, there are times when companies look perspective and treat their workforce like they are incapable or unwilling to deal with some issues. Being respectful and treating your workforce like the grown adults that they are, can be a powerful shift change in how they feel they are looked after by management. Again, communication is the foundation of this motivation technique.
#5 Guidance and leadership
However, it is important to note that it can be easy to swing too much in the opposite direction and allow your workforce to bear the brunt of decision-making and so on. This can be just as demoralising. Thus, the leadership of management is essential in keeping your workforce motivated. This sense of someone leading the company, someone making decision, someone to trust is a great springboard for people feeling like the company – and their jobs – are in safe hands
#6 Money doesn’t always talk
Many companies think that motivational and reward schemes are about financially compensation workers. There are times when this is welcome – who would say no to a Christmas bonus? – but, from studies and extensive pieces of research, it would seem that money doesn’t always talk – and when it does, it is not always the right language.
Salary levels do need to reflect the responsibility and so on that you are asking them to undertake but don’t assume that over-compensating is what every employee is motivated by. Sometimes the challenge is the key.
#7 Workforce motivation is not about making it easier to come to work
Work is an important factor in how we feel about ourselves. Individual self-esteem is finely balanced, and there are times when some of the quirkier ideas may not necessarily be the perks that your employees are looking for. For example, the trend in providing free lunch, ping-pong tables and other ‘recreational facilities that workers can use as and when’ may not be right for every company.
Motivating and enthusing a workforce take input and perseverance – it is not about money, but about people, relationships and what makes them tick.
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