How to Motivate Your Employees on a Shoestring Budget

If you want your employees to be happy, but you worry about a lack of funds, you can relax. It’s not all about money, and there are many factors that affect employee satisfaction.

Glassdoor, a site with major insight into employee sentiment, has analyzed six workplace factors to determine the most important ones. The overwhelming majority of people across all income levels have rated pay and benefits among the least relevant ones.

Company culture and values seem to be the top predictor of workplace satisfaction, and there’s a lot you can do about that for free or cheap.

Strive for a Better Work-Life Balance

As you can see, the tides are shifting, and income isn’t the number one reason for someone to accept a job anymore. In fact, the predominant generation among the global workforce — millennials — are all about flexibility.

A staggering 82% of this generational group consider work-life balance the most important factor in a potential job. No matter how big of a pay they’re offered, they will decline it if the job leaves them little free time.

So if you want to keep your employees highly motivated you can introduce some kind of a policy about a flexible schedule. You may abandon traditional fixed hours, for example, or allow your employees to cut their workday for attending to a personal matter.

Another idea is to have remote days, for instance, every Friday. An alternative is to permit several remote workdays per month, which they can distribute however they see fit.

Foster a Positive Work Environment

Again, great company culture can be the best possible motivator, and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. Your office is a place where employees spend the largest part of their day, and you want them to feel welcome and positive when they come in.

A gloomy atmosphere affects their mental well-being, which spills into their levels of productivity and overall happiness.

The best way to make the workplace a happy place is to foster an environment of teamwork and communication. Studies show that poor team collaboration negatively impacts employee morale.

You also need to show your employees that you see them and appreciate them, which will boost their satisfaction significantly.

Another way to introduce some lightheartedness into your employees’ work life is to create special holidays, such as a “Bring Your Pet to Work” day or an office potluck day.

Improve Your Time-Off Distribution System

Hopefully, your employees have a certain amount of paid time off (PTO). No matter how many days that is, creating and maintaining a solid PTO management policy is half the work.

You don’t necessarily have to increase the number of off days to increase employee satisfaction and motivation. You just have to find a system for managing requests that works for your business.

Dealing with requests and approvals, especially around the most popular holidays, can be tiring for the HR people, and it’s difficult to make the schedule work for everyone.

The best way to improve your time-off distribution system so that everyone’s happy is by using TimeOff.Management software. The program allows you to plan employee absences in a much more efficient way, avoid clashes, and never suffer staff shortages.

Bonus tip: Make sure not to disturb employees on leave with work-related stuff. They’ll appreciate it greatly.

Embrace Peer Mentorship

What better way to instill a sense of warmth and belonging in a new hire than through a mentorship program?

Starting out at a new job can be intimidating, and a lack of personal touch may make new employees feel alienated. Moreover, they probably won’t feel comfortable asking their superiors many questions.

You can help them fit more easily into the company culture and feel like they’re part of the team from the start by pairing them up with an experienced employee who does a similar job. They can work as a pair for the first couple of months until the newbie is settled.

This practice is not only beneficial for the new person — the peer will be just as happy with it. Making someone a mentor shows them that you value, trust, and appreciate them. It also brings change and variability into their day.

Create Opportunities for Growth

The mentorship role we’ve mentioned above is a great example of helping your employees grow, perfect their skills, and learn new ones. This role could be a step toward a new higher-up position within your company.

You should always look for candidates for senior positions among your existing employees. That way, you’re creating numerous opportunities for growth and development.

No one likes working a dead-end job, and if you invest in your employees, they’ll feel more motivated and stay loyal to your company. This way, you also avoid high employee turnover, which can be quite costly.

Apart from peer coaching, manager coaching is another great idea that can help upskill your employees.

An additional practice you can opt for is cross-training so that people get the opportunity to try their hand at their coworkers’ tasks and widen their knowledge and expertise.

As you can see, there are plenty of options aside from often expensive outside training.

Truly Listen to Your Employees

This may sound like a common-sense thing to do, but we just want to emphasize the immense importance of truly hearing your team. Being an empathetic leader can boost your retention rates significantly. As many as 92% of workers believe this to be extremely important for strong retention.

Being receptive and fostering open communication can seriously improve the overall satisfaction and motivation levels. Not only should you give your employees regular feedback, but you should encourage them to give you feedback as well.

You will probably hear about a lot of things that you can fix easily. No matter how small a problem, it can breed annoyance and even frustration when neglected.

You may also discover that the majority of your team feels the same about an issue you weren’t even aware of. Knowing that they are heard and taken into account will mean the world to them.