Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No money? No problem. Motivate without it.

Times are tough out there, you don’t need to tell us twice. Our budgets are strapped, employees are stressed, and layoffs are looming (if they haven’t happened already).

Instead of just worrying about your lack of money and employees’ low morale, why not look for a cashless way to get employees motivated?

Some think it can’t be done, but motivating employees without spending money is possible and a recent BusinessWeek article explores how many businesses managed to do it.

Here it is in four manageable steps:

Step 1: Managers must be self-motivated. How do you get employees to rally around you if you’re in a bad mood and locked up in your office all day? It’s easy for managers to hide behind email, what’s tough is connecting on a personal level. Even the busiest manager can find time to connect with and recognize employees every day.

Step 2: Get creative. Companies with the resources, like Google and Starbucks, offer employees option-exchange programs where workers can trade “out-of-the-money stock options” for new ones. For companies without that luxury, consider moving annual programs up a few months, like how software developer Intuit was able to do earlier this year.

Step 3: Make it personal. Since stock options and bonuses aren’t an option for many of us, you’ll have to find a way to recognize employees without money. Find out what each employee values and give it to them. We’re not talking about a new car or plane tickets to Europe, but something as small as a gift certificate to a fancy new restaurant for a food aficionado in marketing can make a big impact.

Step 4: Focus on intrinsic rewards. While extrinsic rewards can give employee morale a quick boost, internal motivators will have the longest-lasting effects. Show employees how their work has had a direct impact on customers and the success of the business. Whether it’s through peer recognition or sharing positive customer reviews, recognize their hard work regularly.

Keeping employees engaged is essential during an economic downturn. Not every idea will work for every business or employee. Put in the effort to find what works and run with it, your business depends on it.

No comments:

Brought to you by www.gneil.com