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Why is a motivated team critical? According to Dr. Donald Clifton, the #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. When your employees are driven, not only does their productivity increase, but they are more likely to stay with your organization longer. Luckily, you can show your employees appreciation while motivating them to be the best they can be – and you can do so without breaking the bank.
Write handwritten notes.
It can be as simple as “Thank you” or “You’re doing a great job,” but this is a personal and meaningful way to connect and share your gratitude with an employee, and it costs nothing to share your heartfelt appreciation through a simple note.
Introduce employees to customers or someone in senior management.
This breaks barriers between ranks and promotes open avenues of communication, letting employees connect with other staffers and pushes them to think outside their traditional roles. When there is increased engagement among coworkers, there is corresponding efficiency and satisfaction.
Think beyond money when it comes to employee rewards.
Rewarding a successful sales team member or employee of the month with gadgets, stand up desk converters, cube art, toys, etc., is a great way to build strong company culture while driving behavior. Time off is another way to reward your employees, especially since it’s what many employees want. Even if it’s just a couple hours or a half day, allowing an employee some time away from the workplace shows them they deserve a break for all their hard work.
Create a mentorship program.
It bridges the gap between employees and senior leadership, and allows employees to think beyond their day-to-day role. Mentoring can also improve employee satisfaction and retention, and make your company more appealing to new recruits.
Publicly recognizing employees that are going above and beyond to their peers is that little extra morale boost to keep pushing. It can be something very simple, like a call-out in a staff meeting, or something showier, like a ceremony honoring an employee in front of everyone. Either way, recognizing employees in front of their peers encourages active, friendly competition in the workplace.
Allow them to dress casually on Fridays.
Adding elements of fun to work on a regular basis lets employees get to know each other as real people. When this happens, your employees look forward to coming to work everyday, and makes for a happier, more productive office.
Celebrate wins and milestones.
This can be as simple as an email message to the whole company, but can include treating your team to lunch, or even an afternoon outing, if the win is significant. Movies, bowling, picnics – and of course, much deserved happy hours, can reflect the culture within your office: social, friendly, and competitive.
Let them volunteer at their organization of their choice.
This is especially effective if you’re managing millennials, as they are interested in and passionate about a cause. The NonProfit Times stated “Most millennials volunteer between 1-10 hours per year and are more likely to volunteer if they can leverage their skills or expertise.” Tangible incentives like name recognition, prizes, and more time off can further encourage participation in volunteer opportunities.
Discover what truly drives your employees personally to reward them accordingly. Spend time, not money, fostering appreciation for your employees, and watch as their motivation grows and productivity increases.
This post is written on behalf of Cory Jones, who currently serves as Vice President of Commercial Marketing for Frontier Communications. In his role, Cory is responsible for all facets of business-to-business marketing for the company, including acquisition, retention, digital, social media, lead generation, and marketing communications.
Cory holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Texas Tech University. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children, and is on an eternal quest to finally break par on the golf course.