Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to stay motivated and productive than those who feel neglected and unhappy. Motivating your employees by throwing in a few incentives doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can actually be fun. Here are a few things to consider:
Reward your employees for their hard work and dedication by giving them extra time off, flexible schedules, or part-time hours on certain days. This type of time-based incentive works well for your most mature employees because they’ve worked hard for years and may be looking to make changes. Being flexible will allow you to keep a great employee while motivating him to stay loyal and remain in the workforce as opposed to retiring early.
Flex time during the holiday season is another great incentive. Allowing your employees to flex their schedules a little will have a significant impact on the number of last-minute callouts you experience as people become stressed over shopping and holiday preparations.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from employees is that their managers simply don’t understand how hard they have to work. Encourage your managers to give their team members a break by taking over their desks for an hour, half day, or even a full day. Your employees will feel appreciated and your managers will get a better understanding of how their employees feel as they work through their day to day tasks.
Take a Field Trip
Every once in a while, whether it’s once per quarter or twice per year, shut down for a half day and take your employees out to lunch, to see a movie, or even to the local arcade or bowling ally. Doing so will prove to your employees that you value their hard work and effort while at the same time promoting an enjoyable work atmosphere that your employees will look forward to each day. Some employees would rather earn a little less to work in a fun environment than take higher pay to work in a miserable place. Take advantage of your ability to promote a positive work environment.
All of these motivational techniques will keep your employees happy without you having to fork over cash in bonuses or extra pay. Your team members will appreciate your efforts and as they become happier with their jobs you’ll notice an increase in productivity – guaranteed!
Originally published: 1 December, 2008
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