Are you under the impression that employees are happy only when you pay them more money? No! That isn't always true. Even though money acts as a major contributor to employee motivation, remember it is never the only way.
Many times bonus or commission checks are cashed, spent and forgotten very quickly. An alternative for motivating employees is to give gifts through a reward point system. This system enables you to award equivalent points instead of cash, which can be traded for gifts or a vacation. The advantage of a reward program is that it promotes individual performance and competition, while transforming the situation into a friendly contest! On the other hand, a cash reward invariably creates grudges in the minds of those that don't receive them.
Following are some of the other non-monetary ways of motivating employees in your organization.
Acknowledge their work: When your employees complete their task, recognize it and appreciate their achievement. It costs the company nothing, but is a major motivating factor, nonetheless. Simple things like a round of applause for a particular accomplishment will work wonders for motivating employees. You could also be more creative by awarding trophies or plaques for "Employee of the Month". Take a look at "365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money", an e-book for some good ideas.
Train them: Remember, training is not a one time process. Conduct training sessions on a regular basis, even though they consume time and money. Some alternatives do exist – for example, the "Five Star Teamwork Video Training Program" can be used for training your employees, without spending too much of either.
Provide growth prospects: Let your employees know of opportunities and areas of growth within your company. Set career paths and promote employees to higher levels by adopting a well laid out HR strategy. This will give them the assurance that they have a stable future within the organization.
Assign professional designations: Personal identity, competence, status and self esteem are all tied up with the job title. Hence, make sure that employees feel proud of who they are and what they do in the workplace. This will ultimately enhance their performance and increase your company's productivity. Use your creativity in forming titles and also welcome ideas from the staff while re-designing them.
Build team spirit: This is the most important way of motivating employees. Take a big photograph of your entire team along with yourself and put it up somewhere noticeable. This will instill team spirit in every employee and give them a sense of belonging.
Assign leadership roles: This will also enable you to share your workload. Most people are inspired by the thought of handling additional responsibility. For example, allow your employees to lead a training program or brief a meeting. This can be done especially when new people join the company. You could also give them an opportunity to lead a project team. Encourage them to read books like "How to Lead: Discover the Leader Within You".
Have fun: This ploy works like no other. If you already have an annual conference for all employees, make sure it's not all work and no play. Outbound programs or team games will do wonders for breaking the ice and building long lasting bonds between colleagues. These things stay in the collective memory, long after the event, and serve to motivate and energize.
We think that these ideas can set the ball rolling, but if you are looking for more, try the "Motivation and Energy at Work" program.