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We all want to have businesses with happy employees always eager to help customers. For that to happen we must find ways of grabbing attention without breaking the bank. Nothing can please an employee more than a salary raise, a bonus or a paid vacation. Yet, sometimes these actions are not enough to motivate them. Believe it or not, money doesn’t always increase performance at the workplace.

Rewards and recognition


Employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their efforts. You can make them feel better about themselves without opting for trophies and awards. A simple “Thank you” or a meaningful sentence like “You did an excellent job” will always prove an employee that their work is respected and treasured. If you think that saying these things is not a good idea, you can always write a ‘thank you’ email or a note. Praising employees during team meetings boost self-esteem, and afterwards they will be more willing to do their jobs.

Your employees are your team, not your subordinates

If your company is thinking about launching a new product, you might want to allow your employees to state their opinions as well. Ask them to find a better way to improve the product, and if someone comes up with a good idea, don’t hesitate to use it. If you’re open-minded, you won’t just help your company thrive, but you will also encourage your employees to speak up. Make them feel part of the team, treat them like equals, and they’ll love to work for you.

Flexible working hours

Allow senior managers to work from home every once in a while, and permit your employees to select their working hours at least two times per week. If they’re able to organize a schedule according to their own preferences, they will also have enough time to dedicate to their loved ones. Offering employees the possibility to manage their time means that you trust their judgment. Flexible working hours can enhance performance and motivation at the workplace. Its one thing to have the liberty to set up your own schedule, and it’s a whole different thing to be compelled to work from 9 to 5.

Learning opportunities  

CEOs and managers are advised to invest in the education of their employees. Send your workers to all sorts of seminars and training events, and you’ll help them increase performance. At some point they will want to advance in their careers, so showing them that you support their decisions is an excellent way of motivating them at the workplace.

Create an enjoyable working environment


Even if your employees don’t have really big office spaces, you should try to improve the working environment as much as you can. Provide them with a kitchen and a comfortable lounge area and you’ll see a considerable change in their behavior. Also, during the summer season you can install an air conditioning system to make the whole atmosphere more relaxed.

Have lunch with your people

Lunch is the best time of the day to let your guard down and talk to your people like equals. Leave all kinds of pleasantries behind and put yourself in their shoes for 20 minutes. Talk about what must be improved in the office, ask them about their personal lives, interests, and hobbies, and you’ll manage to connect with them on a deeper level.

Independence boost productivity

Employees feel really uncomfortable when their boss is continuously supervising and bothering them in the office. People need to be free to do their job without a boss questioning them all the time. Assign tasks and let your employees accomplish them on their own. Step back and give them space. You’ll see that they can follow your guidelines way better when you’re not nagging them. Don’t be a dictator and keep in mind that independence is extremely important for employees.

How do we make our employees happy without turning to exaggerated salary raises? People can surprise us in so many ways that sometimes we can’t believe they can be so kind. In a working environment employees want to feel valued, appreciated, and understood. As long as you’re the type of boss who listens to his people, you won’t have to double their salaries just to keep them working for you. Be nice and give them space to do their jobs. Hence, they will feel more relaxed and their motivation to work will be greatly increased.

Posted by Jason P.

Jason Phillips loves talking and blogging about business and negotiation tips and techniques. The site is Expert in Employee Engagement and Staff Surveys. They run employee engagement surveys for many well-known UK organizations.

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