9 Easy Ways To Motivate Employees (Without Money)

With skilled young employees continually entering the workforce, many are not as motivated and able to stay on task as the older generations.

With the instant gratification of the internet and multimedia made to change content quickly, attention spans and contentment are at all-time lows.

Motivation and engagement are crucial for businesses to retain employees, and it is more important than ever to keep quality employees. Keeping employees happy while also understanding their personal needs can be a difficult task.

Most people would like a raise, but employers are not always able to offer additional compensation. This post details the best ways to motivate employees without having to pay them more.

The Top 9 Ways To Motivate Employees

Usually, the top of the list for most employees is the desire to have a flexible schedule and make more money. While many companies are strapped for cash due to the economy's state, it is no longer only the employees feeling the pinch. To address some of these top concerns, here are the nine best ways to motivate employees.

#1. Pay Your Employees – Faster!

Since most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, balancing bills with biweekly paychecks can be a daunting task. Often employees are focused on paying late fees because they are waiting for their next payday to fulfill their financial obligations.

We have all heard of payday loans and the insanely high fees associated with them. However, many employees are forced to take out these unethical loans so they can feed their families.

This is where employers can offer a fantastic benefit of partnering with companies that allow them to have early access to the money they have already earned.

Introducing: paycheck advance benefits. Companies like Rain make it possible for employees to access the money owed to them without waiting until payday. Rain gives employees the option of receiving a paycheck advance when your employee runs out of options. By providing them with a little extra cash when they need it most, you can be assured that this is a benefit most employees would love to have in their back pockets.

#2. Evaluate Schedules

Near the top of employees' wish list is the desire to have a flexible schedule. While this is not realistic in many sectors, many companies are afraid of change. The events of 2020 have forced many employers to think outside of the box in regards to teleworking. Many companies have actually increased their efficiency by using non-traditional schedules and working from home options.

Re-evaluate your current workspace to see if offering flexible schedules is an option – your employees will thank you!

#3. Include Employees in Goal Setting

All too often, employers make decisions without first surveying their line-level employees. Often the employees have the best ideas when it comes to improving performance and increasing efficiencies.

As an employer, you can motivate employees by giving them a seat at the table and a voice when determining their goals and strategies.

#4. Increase Transparency

Employees like to know the “why” behind many decisions and processes. By allowing employees to see behind the scenes and the reason for a current direction, employees are given the option of buying into the mission. By creating buy-in, companies can motivate employees to take on the employer's mission as their own.

#5. Focus on the Employee

Authentic leadership and motivation are developed on a personal level. Take the extra time to train your supervisors to mentor employees in a one on one setting rather than team settings.

Recognizing an entire team's work serves a purpose, but motivating employees is accomplished when they feel a personal connection to their leadership. This is done by being human and treating employees as unique individuals – rather than one large entity.

#6. Develop Leaders

Many employees actually want more responsibility rather than less. This is where leadership and mentor programs thrive. Develop a training program and curriculum for employees who desire to take over a leadership role one day. Show them you believe in their potential and give them the tools and resources to accomplish their goals.

When employees feel motivated to further their careers through leadership, their enthusiasm can translate into increased productivity and a contagious work ethic.

#7. Be Available

Motivate your employees by being available to them and working with them. True leaders are at the front of the employees, leading by example. Supervisors lead from behind and tell employees what to do.

Create or maintain an open-door policy that allows open and effective communication between the employer and the employees. When employees feel their employer values and respects communication with them, they are more motivated to help achieve the organization’s goals.

#8. Create Incentives and Games

Routine tasks can quickly become mind-numbing and mundane. Employees who are skilled at their job can often quickly lose interest if they are not challenged. By creating incentivized programs or games with productivity milestones, you can stimulate employee motivation by challenging them with friendly competitions.

Think of things not necessarily tied to monetary compensation. For instance, the employee who creates the most widgets next week gets a front parking spot, etc. Think outside of the box and see what you can come up with or what your employees want to win.

More than likely, if you ask your employees what they would like to win, they may already have a few ideas up their sleeve that won't cost you money.

#9. Focus On Positivity

We have all heard the phrase, “if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!” The premise of this line is true – attitude radiates from the top down. If you are disgruntled or an unpleasant person in general, you can bet that those who interact with you daily will mirror your emotion.

Just like a smile is contagious, so is attitude. Leave your home life at home to focus on work and encourage your employees to adapt and maintain a positive attitude.

Employees are motivated when they enjoy coming to work. Make the job site as enjoyable as possible with a positive attitude.

Wrapping It Up

Most employees want to enjoy coming to work and doing a great job. However, they can quickly become distracted with life, money, and relationship problems. Take your role as an employer seriously and do what you can to keep your employees motivated.

It doesn't always require money to encourage employees to stay motivated. Often solving some of their problems is the best way to earn their trust. Small steps like making their money available to them a few days earlier with a paycheck advance app like Rain is a great incentive that doesn't cost the company any money.

Small benefits and incentives are compelling and can motivate employees more than you may realize.

Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.