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Employee Motivators

Creative ways in which to motivate and increase production from the staff we currently have:

Many of us are maximizing our resources and asking our employees to wear multiple hats and perform more than one job function.

It’s difficult for us (the business owner) to stay motivated, and motivate others during these very challenging economic times. Not only is there a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the workplace, but many of our employees are being asked to do more, with less resources, less hours and no extra pay to show for it.

Keeping employees motivated these days is a tough job, when we, the business owners, or managers, are unsure of the future. Communicating and being honest with them is critical regarding the health of the company and asking them to assist in “keeping the ship afloat”. Since their jobs are potentially at stake, and since there aren’t many employment options out there currently, they may very well take ownership of the situation. Also, as leaders, our moods greatly affect the moods of others. If we walk in the morning with energy and a positive vibe, it sets the tone for others. The opposite, or negative tone, applies as well.

As an employer, we may not be able to shower employees with cash or bonuses during these tough times, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other low-cost perks we can offer to help boost morale. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a major impact on employee motivation. The best forms of motivation, ironically, have the least cost. It just requires commitment and some consistent, creative thinking on our part.

Simple acts like asking employees their opinions, involving them in a decision or thanking them for a job well done can go a long way. We all know these theories are effective, we just get so involved in our daily activities that we may not consistently exercise these points.
If employees see us, management, crying poverty, cutting their compensation and benefits, but still driving that nice car, living in that nice home and going on vacations, resentment will rear its head, it’s inevitable. Live discretely and don’t gloat over your possessions. We have to remember that many of our employees are living paycheck to paycheck. Nothing is guaranteed, and those of us who are fortunate to live a comfortable life, realize it all can be taken away in a flash. Stay humble.

Think outside the box to come up with creative low-cost ways to motivate staff. There are lots of ways to do it, and I’ll provide a few:

Incentives and performance
If employees hit or exceed certain performance standards, they should receive some sort of agreed-upon bonus payment. If the goal isn’t met; there’s no out of pocket expense to your company.
Suggestion programs
If an employee comes up with a suggestion that either makes or saves the company money, he or she would receive an agreed-upon payment, such as 10 percent of the overall savings.

Career path program Take stock of all the jobs within your company, which may only be a few, and chart the different paths employees can take to move up the ranks. This can be a great motivator as it gives employees vision of how they can grow positionally and financially.

Appreciation rewards
Who wouldn’t like to get tickets to a movie, a play or sporting event? These incentives could be tied to performance or length of service, or reducing operating expenses. People yearn for recognition! Also, provide these appreciation rewards unexpectedly as the surprise will be very welcomed.

In addition to low cost rewards and acknowledgement, it is through discovering who employees are at their very core that we will be able to generate effective motivation in the workplace. Managers who realize what motivates them and their employees, are capable of building highly productive and profitable teams where everyone has a greater sense of fulfillment and sustained cooperation.

If an employer is able to hire someone now, or has existing employees, Not only is there a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the workplace, but many of our employees are being asked to do more, with less resources, less hours and no extra pay to show for it.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a major impact on employee motivation even though economic conditions are still difficult.

Here are some suggestions: Most companies are operating with reduced staffing levels and they generally know who their good people are. Empower them to treat your company as their own.
Incentives and performance: If performance goals are met, pay out a %. Bringing in new or retaining customers,

Suggestion programs: If an idea saves the company money, pay out a %: renegotiate vendor agreements, reduce office supplies, materials, utility bills, etc.

Career path program: Provide vision and goals for others to grow internally.

Appreciation rewards: Provide a small, unexpected gift for a job well done.

By caring for our employees, it encourages creative thoughts, buy in and allows/empowers the employees to treat the company like their own. It costs a lot more to continually replacing key people than to proactively keep them happy.

These incentives provide creative compensations options during job offer negotiations.
Implementing cost cutting measures, technology steam-lining and re-negotiating existing vendor contracts. He reasoned that his compensation could be tied to these measures. The more he saved the company, the more he could make as a percentage of the savings. This way, there was far less risk for the company to hire him at his level. A win-win! Keep this in mind if you’re considering hiring someone. What can they provide to help you reduce the risk of hiring them.

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