Is your team a little down on its luck? If so, don’t let that reality crush you. According to Gallup, a mere 31.5% of US workers are engaged. So if your team looks a little lackluster of late, take comfort in the fact you’re not alone.
The good news is that by making a few changes to your operations, you can encourage your employees to become the best versions of themselves. With that in mind, let’s take a look a six ways you can motivate your staff without spending a penny:
1. Solicit ideas from your employees — and put the best ones into practice
According to our 2015 Employee Engagement Report, less than 33% of workers feel valued in their current roles. You can’t exactly expect your employees to knock it out of the park each week if they feel they are completely expendable.
Here’s a quick fix: Regularly check in with your team to see whether they have any new ideas about changes that could be made to improve operations or initiatives that could be launched to boost sales. Implement the best ones to show your employees it’s a team effort.
2. Let employees work on pet projects
Working on the same tasks every single day gets tiring for anyone after a while. Encourage your employees to spend some of their workweek tackling projects that are outside their general job description. In addition to helping switch things up, this will also help your employees develop professionally.
3. Let them bring pets to the office too
While you’re at it, create a policy that allows workers to bring their pets into the office (within reason, of course). Believe it or not, a majority of workers feel more motivated when there are animals nearby. If you don’t want a pack of hounds running around every day, that’s not a problem — just allow furry friends in the office on Fridays.
4. Recognize your employees’ hard work
Don’t take your employees’ efforts for granted. Sometimes, a simple thank-you can go a long way toward increasing motivation. To this end, make employee recognition an important part of your approach to management. Give credit whenever it’s due. Who doesn’t like being told they’ve done a great job?
5. Check in with your workers often via pulse surveys
Instead of letting problems develop over the course of many months before checking in with your employees during year-end reviews, utilize anonymous pulse surveys so you know exactly how your staff is feeling at the end of each week. At the very least, it’ll prove to your team that you’re invested in their well-being.
6. Allow employees to create their own work schedules
Does it really matter if your employees are working at their desks at 9 a.m. or from their couches at 9 p.m.? In some instances (e.g., client calls and company meetings), it probably does. But in most instances, it probably doesn’t. Let your employees create their own schedules and work from wherever they want, at least sometimes, and chances are they’ll be more motivated.
In order for your team to reach its full potential, employees need to be motivated. By getting a little creative, you can encourage your employees to become more effective workers — all without reaching into the company purse.