In today’s economy and workplace, it can be difficult to find ways to motivate employees without a monetary incentive. Kars4Kids, the nation’s largest car donation charity, offers six ways to help keep workers motivated, engaged and passionate – without breaking the bank by handing out more cash.
1. Make your employees feel needed and appreciated. No matter how idealistic your employees are and how dedicated to the business, everyone needs a healthy dose of external appreciation to keep them going. It sounds like a no-brainer, but never forget to tell your employees – as often and in as many ways as possible – that your organization could never accomplish all it does without their help.
2. Ask employees to help in specific, actionable ways. If you really want people to help you, avoid the general “we need to do better” and “work harder” kind of calls to action. Be specific in giving practical ways that people can work harder for you and make it easy for them to follow up. Most of all, make an effort to be friendly and available so that your employees will actually want to communicate with you more.
3. Inspire your employees with the cause, not the organization. Don’t ask your employees to help your organization, but the cause. Inspire them with stories of real people they will be helping and real challenges that their work will be addressing.
4. Stay connected, and make sure your communication channels go both ways. Keep in touch with your employees on a regular basis. With the proliferation of social media, email, texting and the like, communication is easier than ever. You can offer training and tips to help their work, and relevant and timely information including updates on what’s new at your organization.
Be readily accessible to listen to what your employees have to say, too. As the people on the front lines, they often have a lot of valuable information to share and important questions and concerns that you need to address.
5. Develop a community in your workplace. Build a sense of community among your employees. They should feel connected to each other and not just to the business. Online forums can be helpful in this regard, but there’s no substitute for good, old fashioned interaction – in person. Hold a conference, or even better, throw a party to celebrate the dedication of everyone who works for you.
6. Show your employees how they made a difference. Highlight your employees’ successes to show them how their hard work helped the business. Whether it’s the smile on a client’s face when your company fulfills their key goals for the month, or positive feedback from a difficult co-worker, let your employees see the results of their efforts. There’s no motivation as powerful as knowing that you made a difference in your workplace.