Keeping employees motivated with more than money

Ask any group of employees what would drive them to a do a good job, maintain a safe work environment, all while enjoying their role as an employee and chances are you will get numerous different responses.

Is it a company vehicle? More money? How about more vacation days with pay? All of these are great motivators,but just like any lonely billionaire will say, money can’t buy all parts of happiness

Ok, so other than bribery, what avenues can you take to arouse company morale? There are ways to boost employees self-worth that will achieve similar results as tossing them a golden nugget from time to time.

Non-monetary incentives not only boost morale but you also tend to cause a ripple effect through the company when employees feel appreciated. What good does it do to give an employee a raise if all you do is treat them as if their role in the business is not important?

Job titles are more than just words

Give an employee a title they find pride in and that employee will wear that title like a boy/girl scout badge. The truth is, any title under executive and management level is only valuable to the person to which it belongs.

With this in mind, why not add to the title and get a little creative? Instead of the standard descriptions, have the staff help with drumming up good ideas. Just by giving an employee a title gives a person a sense of pride and empowerment in the workplace. Success is inevitable if an employee feels good about the job they do and who they are.

Take pride in every employee, not just the ones with a higher wage or education. Some employees feel as though their opinion doesn’t matter just because they are on the low-end of the totem pole. Positions such as these are where you can add the most boost by just being creative in their title.

  • House-keeping
  • Maintenance
  • Food Service
  • Janitorial
  • Lawn care

Job security, working conditions, and bullies

If you were to take a survey within your company asking employees to name areas they found the least satisfaction, what areas do you think you would learn about the most? Although, pay makes the cut it’s not the top answer.

The top areas employees show dissatisfaction with is:

  • Working conditions: If you want to find the section hit the hardest with low morale, visit the employee that is forced to work in extreme work environments. (i.e., extreme heat or cold).

Offer employees extra breaks if they work in extreme weather conditions. Providing cold water or warm drinks shows you care about what they are dealing with as part of their job duties.

  • Job security: When a wage earner feels threatened that their job is in jeopardy due to no role of theirs, moral takes a punch. Getting up and going to a job every day that may or may not exists, adds stress to already hectic grind of the day. Keep employees updated if rumors begin circulating of layoffs or closure.
  • Behind the door bullying: There is one on every payroll.You know the one – that employee that has a little power that uses intimidation to get ahead or overpower another employee. Most employees experience bullying at least once in their career.

The bottom line is, everyone wants the same perks from an employer these are, to know they have a steady, secure job- in a healthy, safe environment- while not feeling threatened for being there.

Ask for employee input

No employee wants another person telling them how to think or what to do on a constant basis. Instead, ask for their thoughts and opinion and be willing to listen. Making your employees feel as though their opinion matters can boost the way they see you and themselves. A great rule of thumb to remember is to get something done, make them feel it was all their idea.

Instead of barking demands, such as “Do it this way!” Ask for their input such as, “How would you feel about doing it this way?” There are many jobs, especially in the industrial industry where the supervisors are younger than workers that have been there for years. Situations such as giving orders can be a huge hit to morale if not handled in a professional manner.

On-hand training is worth its weight in gold. Just because an applicant has a college degree doesn’t mean this is your top employee. Take into consideration the years and knowledge an employee has before you decide not to hear what he/she has to say.

Never pass up the chance to give a high-five

If you have an employee that performs their job well, go out of your way to let him,or her, know. If an employee deserves your praise, by all means, praise them for a job well done. It’s amazing to see the stride in an employees step when they receive an “atta-boy/girl” from management.

Letting your employees know you notice and you care is a  no-cost incentive for them to keep up the good work. Just by getting a managers stamp of approval validates their hard work and continues to encourage them to do a good job.


Keeping the morale high in a company can be challenging for management, and it’s Human Resource Department. Incorporating tools such as “Friday casual day,” or lunch catered once a month,will bring the staff together to mingle and are great ways to reinforce everyone plays for the same team.

It’s not always monetary incentives that can turn the energy around within a company. Maintain an “open door policy” for employees on all levels, ensuring they have a safe place to voice concerns and make sure you take the time to hear what they have to say.

Having happy employees is a win-win situation for both parties. High turnovers are a costly, unnecessary expense that can take a toll on a companies profit. By going the extra mile for your staff, initiating management training, and incorporating that training onto your employees,you are ensuring that everyone’s role is critical to the success of the company.

Hansica Kh.