Engaging and Motivating Your Employees without Spending a Fortune

Low Cost Employee Benefits and Incentives for a Positive Workplace

Employee Benefits Motivation Incentives
© Minerva Studio - Fotolia.com

March 19, 2015

Finding new ways to motivate your employees can be daunting, especially if your company does not have a ton of money in the HR budget to spend on employee benefits, performance raises or corporate outings. But, let’s face it: employee motivation is very important today because it not only helps employees succeed at their jobs, it also affects the company’s bottom line. Without motivation, employees soon turn to time-wasting efforts and low productivity.

Therefore, it’s the employer’s job to create an engaged workforce.  

Read on as we discuss the best ways to motivate your employees without spending too much money.

A Little Bit of Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to motivate your employees is by simply saying ‘thank you’ for a job well done. Employees want to know that they are valued by their employer and this is one of the best ways to do it. Even if you have some of the unhappiest of employees on the planet currently, a simple sign of appreciation could change their mindset and attitude while at the office. Ideas for saying thanks can include:

  • Handwritten personalized notes with a gift card left on an employee’s desk to let them know you value them
  • Certificates of appreciation printed out and left in the office break room to recognize outstanding employees
  • A pack of movie tickets handed out randomly to employees who do a good job
  • Free pizza Friday’s to thank employees for their efforts all week long (and a little celebration too)
  • Mid-day team meetings in which managers say thank you to the employees and everyone shares something positive that happened at work
  • Peers regularly recognizing and expressing appreciation for the efforts of others in a public way

    Provide Continual Learning Opportunities

    Learning can be a powerful way to bring more value to the workplace too. Employees want to further their careers, which means continuing their education within their profession matters. Companies that regularly provide access to low cost training classes and industry conferences will find that motivation is not as hard to come by. Another excellent option in this section is to create a mentoring program for your employees. Pair veteran workers with less experienced employees so they can learn the ropes and have a place to go with questions.

    Make Work More Fun

    It is easier said than done, but you need to everything possible to make work fun if you want to motivate your employees. This does not mean playing games or handing out prizes each day of the week, but there are some things you can do to shake things up at the office. This includes removing cubicle farms once and for all, then making the office floorplan open so all employees can interact without emailing or calling each other. If at all possible, relax the dress code for your employees and update the lighting and color scheme of the office. Add some cool artwork, plants, and soft seating areas if the employee benefit budget allows.

    This makes the workplace more fun and less institutional – factors that can help increase motivation and innovation.

    Create a Better Incentive Program

    If you have enough room in your operating budget, consider creating an incentive program as part of your employee benefits offering. The program should be based on performance of your employees and divided into either operational quarters or monthly periods. Regular bonuses could include cash, gift cards, gifts and other awards for a job well done. Benefits could be extra paid time off, access to lower cost insurance options, and even an employee savings bank for the holidays.

    Whatever you do to make the work environment more positive, make sure your management team is fully invested in this program for it to work. If you do not want to regularly hand out incentives, consider implementing a program that rewards employees with annual raises for employees who show a commitment to your company and who perform well throughout the year.

    It does not have to cost your company a ton of money to motivate employees. In fact, you can do most of the motivating without spending a dime. Just make sure you motivate all of your employees and do not single out certain ones.

    Image Credit: © Minerva Studio - Fotolia.com