10 Ways to Motivate Employees Aside From A Salary Raise
Budget limitations are a pandemic reality for most businesses today. Even during hard times, the question remains: how to motivate employees amid financially difficult times?
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has long-term economic impacts. In fact, a report from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) last September 2021 stated that economic losses in the next one to four decades may amount to 37 trillion pesos. Until now, formerly bustling businesses like restaurants, tourism and transportation cannot fully operate because of physical distancing measures.
However, there is a bit of good news. Last July 2021, the Department of Trade and Industry reported that businesses that closed down during the pandemic decreased by 10%. As a result, the 1.4 million displaced workers during Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in NCR Plus are now down to over 700,000.
Why You Should Motivate Your Employees
In the face of uncertainty, it is important to boost staff morale. Additionally, an inspired workforce can improve your company’s overall health. Here are the qualities of a motivated workforce:
most likely to stay in the company
helps you reach your business goals faster
inspired to improve products and services
less likely to miss work
motivates other employees to do their best
Ultimately, your business reaps the benefits of a motivated workforce. After all, training new employees costs time, money and resources. Moreover, unmotivated employees may affect others in your team, leading to poor output. A driven staff also enhances your company’s reputation, helping you find top talents while recruiting.
Top 10 Ideas on Motivating Employees
Though salary may be an important factor, employees also look for intangible rewards in a company. So, even if you can’t afford to raise salaries or offer promotions right now, you can still motivate employees in these creative and effective ways.
1. Be an inspiring leader.
When self-motivation becomes challenging for employees, know that you can be their source of inspiration. As a leader, you should embody vision, purpose, and fairness. What do you hope to achieve with your team? Map out your goals, and define success. Meanwhile, a fair employer makes everyone in the company feel valued—an important part of employee retention. According to the Decoding Global Talent report. “good relationship with superior” takes the third spot among Filipinos’ top job preferences.
2. Offer upskilling.
Are you targeting the Gen Z crowd for your entry-level jobs? According to a 2018 Dell Technologies survey, 67% of Filipino Gen Xers desire to work in companies that provide upskilling. However, this interest in self-learning cuts across age groups. The Decoding Global Talent report shares that 61% of Filipino workers spend a significant time learning. Their three most preferred resources are on the job, self-studying, and conferences and seminars.
Before deciding on an employee’s skill upgrade, observe how they work. Which capabilities do they need to improve performance? What areas do they need to work on? Also, it is important to get feedback from the employees themselves. What are their interests and hidden skills? All these can help you craft an upskilling scheme that works for both your team and the company. You can even start a mentorship program within your organization to foster teamwork.
With the wealth of information online, employees can now boost their skills at their own pace, and in the safety of their homes. To make sure they are ready for job automation, Jobstreet and Luna Academy offers free online tech courses!
3. Provide flexible work setups.
Good work-life balance is always desirable among employees. In fact, the Decoding Global Talent report states that it is the second job preference among Filipinos after “job security.” On top of that, the report says that almost half of Filipino workers want to work remotely five days a week.
Giving your employees the freedom to choose how and where they work can be a strong motivation during this time. This not only ensures their health and safety, but also builds trust between you and your team. Flexible arrangements may come in monitoring output instead of working hours. Or you can even give them an extra day off after completing a challenging project.
4. Support their career development.
Encourage employees to grow with your company by offering them career support. Take time to meet with individual members to learn their professional goals. Let them know the growth options within the company, and help them develop the necessary skills. An interest in their future sends the message that they are welcome to have a long and fruitful career in the company.
5. Give tangible rewards.
In place of a cash bonus, little things such as gift certificates, free coffee or complimentary online yoga classes can boost company morale. Are any of their family members recuperating from sickness? Send a care package of vitamins, fruits and vegetables to convey your concern. This way, your company becomes more than just a workplace, but also a source of strength during difficult times.
6. Encourage communication.
Nowadays, face-to-face interactions are limited. However, you can make up for this with frequent check-ins through chats, email or video conferences. Keep communication lines open for questions, concerns, or a quick informal chat. Clear communication is a powerful tool in employee motivation. When you explain the purpose of required tasks, and the importance of each role, you highlight everyone’s valuable contribution.
7. Set attainable goals.
Huge goals can be daunting, especially for employees struggling with personal issues during the pandemic. Break down big projects into bite-size goals, and celebrate each achievement. With this strategy, the process feels less overwhelming, and employees enjoy the satisfaction of hitting smaller targets. Throughout the journey, offer support to boost your team’s self-confidence.
8. Recognize your team’s efforts.
A promotion may be the most popular way to recognize good work, but other techniques can be just as effective. Show your appreciation with words, or through actions such as buying lunch for the team. Some even use their social media to boast about their employees’ achievements. On these shareable platforms, congratulatory remarks increase a hundredfold. Employees can also share these posts on their personal pages, letting their friends and families know about their feats. Conversely, this is also good PR for your company. A business that appreciates its workforce is highly attractive to jobseekers.
9. Build a positive work environment.
Well-lit, roomy offices are conducive for work. But your company culture is just as important as its physical environment. This is especially true now that remote work is on the rise. Cultivate an environment that makes people look forward to working. Foster collaboration and openness among employees. After all, good working relationships set a positive tone in the workplace, motivating everyone to do their best.
Do not let the pandemic stop you from celebrating birthdays and work milestones. Use digital platforms to let employees catch up beyond the usual work meetings. You can also spread love by helping others. Holding a drive for donations and relief goods for those affected by COVID-19 engages employees. Aside from giving them a higher purpose, charitable programs also strengthen a positive work environment.
10. Open up opportunities for movement.
If you notice that an employee is stuck in a rut, and displays potential for a different role, perhaps a change of department is in order. Movement across the company may be a great alternative to a promotion. It achieves several employee goals without a pay raise: a fresh start, new duties and different challenges. Hopefully, your workers will feel rejuvenated as they expand their horizons and skills.
Why Intangible Rewards Work
Money is important, but if this is the only incentive you offer, employees will have no qualms leaving you for a higher-paying company. Psychic rewards promote employee loyalty. When your team feels appreciated, and they connect with your mission and vision, they are more likely to stay long-term. Treat your staff with compassion and respect, and your company will feel like the home that your employees are less likely to leave.