12 Ways to Keep Your Employees Motivated When You Are on a Budget
Retaining your best and brightest employees is always key to a successful business. But what if your best and brightest are wanting something more than your company is not prepared to offer? If your company has a tight budget, there are still ways to make them feel like they want to stick around. Studies show that employees with the highest job satisfaction are more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies.
Good, hard-working employees are hard to come by, and retaining employees is much more cost-effective than hiring new ones. Plus, if your top employees are not satisfied, there’s always a high chance they will leave to work for your competition.
But even if your company is not in the position to offer your top employees more compensation, know that money isn’t everything — people will stick around for an environment that is satisfying personally and professionally. If your work environment is not conducive to fostering creative, forward thinking for employees, they will eventually feel bored and stifled increasing the odds that they will leave. This is how companies build a reputation as a “fast turn over” employer. What your employees say about their experience working for your company can make or break you in the HR long-run. People want to hear that your company offers a fun, stress-free environment that is supportive of its’ employees and encourages growth.
Not to mention, your employees’ retention rate also has a direct effect on your company’s bottom line. In fact, one client we work with will improve their bottom line over 3 Million dollars over a three-year period by reducing physician turnover and improving retention costs. This came from focusing on leadership development and coaching as part of a culture transformation piece.
However, experts on employee retention agree that offering more money doesn’t necessarily help much anyway, at least not long-term. Often, the biggest reason employees leave their jobs has nothing to do with compensation. Studies show that employees leave when they no longer feel valued or challenged in their workplace. If your company is operating on a tight budget, here are some ways to keep your best and brightest that don’t involve offering more money:
Show Your Employees Respect
A little respect goes a long way in the workplace. Showing that you value your employees’ work is essential to their motivation and workplace productivity. Talking up and not down to your employees, sharing appreciation and acknowledgment, and allowing them space to self-correct when needed all result in a non-threatening, more productive workplace.
Let Your Employees Do Their Jobs
No one likes to be micro-managed. It creates a feeling of mistrust amongst employees and makes them feel like someone is babysitting them and they’re always being watched. This creates tension amongst employees and management, as employees will feel unproductive and management will feel like they’re doing all the legwork. Instead, giving an assignment and deadline and letting the employee work with it can give them the sense of project ownership that’s so important to keep their morale level high.
Give Your Employees Creative Freedom
Allowing employees the freedom to express themselves creatively on a project, whether through writing or ideas and brainstorming, is great for productivity and morale. The more creative thinkers and open meetings, the more inspired and motivated your employees will feel.
Ask For Your Employee’s input and ideas
No one likes only being told what to do all the time and not feeling heard. Giving employees the opportunity to make suggestions and bring their ideas to the table is a win-win for everyone involved. But if your employees don’t feel like their input is welcome, they’ll continue to feel undervalued. Creating an open space where employees can come to management directly, or encouraging management to open the stream of communication for their employees to offer input, can often result in more efficiency and productivity as a whole. Remember, your employees are the ones with their ears to the ground.
Give Praise and Recognition Often and Freely
A simple “thank you” or a pat on the back can really make someone’s day, especially if they’ve been working on a particularly challenging project or with a challenging client. Giving praise freely and frequently can make all the difference in your employee’s mood. More praise and appreciation will make them feel valued at the workplace and more eager to get there in the mornings.
Share About High-Level Goals
If your employees are working with their heads down, from project to project with no goal in sight, it can feel like they’re not contributing to anything meaningful, or working toward a goal. But sharing the big picture more openly when assigning a task can make your employees feel like they are contributing to something bigger, as they see how their piece of the puzzle fits in and is equally as important as the goal itself. Also, sharing company wins and achievements with everyone can make them feel a greater sense of pride in the work they are doing.
Give them a Clear Goal to Work Toward
It’s important to have clear goals when assigning a new project. Sharing the overall picture helps, but also sharing the next steps ahead can be even more motivating for your employees. In addition to project goals, getting to know your employees’ career goals can also help motivate them and make them feel cared for. When they know that their next step forward is most likely at your company, they are much more interested in working hard and moving toward that goal.
Having open communication between management and employees helps bridge the gap and make everyone feel seen and heard. If you are part of the management staff, making yourself available to employees with an open-door policy will also put them at ease and make management seem more approachable.
Promote From Within When Possible
If and when a new job comes available, promoting from within is often best for the company and morale. Promoting your own employees sends a signal to other employees that a promotion could be within their sight as well. Hiring from the outside, however, discourages employees from sticking around if they feel there is nowhere to work towards. Promoting from within also ensure you’ll have an employee who understands your company’s culture already and has proven to work well with the rest of the team.
Offer Small Perks and Incentives
An occasional free lunch, snacks and beverages in the breakroom, workplace flexibility, work from home days and team-building events can work wonders for employee morale. When employees feel like their basic needs are being met at work, and are given opportunities to connect with their employees and feel cared for by perks from management, they can feel more productive and valued.
Make Work-Life Balance a Priority
More and more, we’re seeing the effect prioritizing work-life balance in the workplace can have. If your company cannot offer more salary compensation, then offering great benefits, flexible work schedules and ample amounts of vacation can be enough to make your employees feel valued as workers and people.
Encourage a Learning Environment
Spending time providing webinars, attending seminars and more is a great way to make employees feel like they are participating in a bigger way. Giving them opportunities to learn and grow in their roles is an investment in your employees and one that can really pay off when they come back to the table with some great ideas.
While being able to offer competitive compensation is a great way to keep your employees, it’s not the only thing that’s on their minds. If they aren’t feeling motivated or excited about coming to work, no amount of money can change that. Implementing these incentives and a system of praising and recognizing your top employees can help ensure that they stay at your organization.
Hiring a change management team to identify areas in which your company can improve the retention of your top employees can really make the biggest impact on your employees and your company’s culture. At David Couper Consulting, we take all the above qualities and goals and show you how to tailor them to your company’s culture. Having an experienced, outside professional team identify key areas of importance from your top employees and creating a strategy can make all the difference in retaining your employees, even when working with a tight budget. To learn more about our change management services, visit https://davidcouperconsulting.com/talent-development.
Jon Hauer is a freelance writer and digital designer based in Del Rey, CA. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from the University of St. Thomas and graduated from Pepperdine University in 2015 with a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Writing. He has worked in the tourism/hospitality industry for years and writes professionally on a number of topics including but not limited to travel, business, marketing, tourism, home services, art, sports, entertainment, news, etc.