5 minute read.
How do you motivate yourself at work? Is it the satisfaction of a job well done? Is it the enjoyment of a project? Or is it knowing at the end of the week you are getting a paycheck? Take a minute and ask yourself what motivates you? It’s a hard question to answer. Studies have shown five major factors that motivate individuals at work: money, recognition, job satisfaction, benefits and opportunities.
Each comes with its own individual way to help motivate, but some take more work than others. An employer might assume the best and only real way to motivate their team is through money. Sadly, this is not the case and should not be seen as such. This week we break down why money can’t maintain motivation, ways to motivate without money and what are the real benefits of benefits.
As always you can listen here or continue reading some of the highlights of our conversation.
Does A Raise Motivate Employees?
Yes, it does. Getting a raise is typically a sign of a job well done. Raises often come with more responsibility and potentially a change in position. After receiving a raise most people are excited and eager to produce higher quality work as a reflection. Especially if their raise was a surprise. The person will even feel appreciated and celebrated.
But even money can lose its magic after months of receiving it. Often, raises are short-term motivation. After time passes, employees tend to slide into repetitive patterns and may not produce the same level of work they once did. Money is a bandage and an easy fix to make your employees feel appreciated for a short period.
What Are Rewards?
These are two other ways money can motivate people. Firstly, a reward, which is a small gift or amount of money usually received after accomplishing something special. It can also be referred to as short term incentive that encourages higher volumes of work over a certain period of time. Similar to a raise, these are very short-sighted. They do not result in hard work overtime and may cause conflicts within the workplace.
The other way is through an annual bonus. These are rooted in our society and typically do not work effectively. Companies that just hand out bonuses to everyone often give them to those not deserving. Staff will not be motivated by the idea of an end of year bonus if it is given regardless of the quality of their work.
How To Motivate Without Money?
Raises and rewards can only go so far. Money is not magic and will not translate into continued motivation. As a leader, you must not look for short term bandages but instead, look for different long term opportunities. Here are a few ways to continuously motivate your team without rewards or raises.
Recognize Great Work: Whether it’s in person, over the phone or in an email, specifically recognizing an example of great work is a simple and effective way to motivate. This isn’t a thank you but a shout out.
Set Personal Goals: Instead of pitting a team against each other in terms of goals or compared outcomes, consider encouraging them to be a better version of themselves each month. Their only competition should be themselves.
Celebrate A Great Month: At the end of the month, if your team went above and beyond your goals, celebrate with a pizza lunch or a drink after work.
Get Office Snacks: People love snacks. You can even order snacks online so as a boss you don’t have to go out and buy them every week. Offering your team some mid-day sustenance will go far.
Encourage A Walk About: Sitting in front of a computer for 7 hours is not great mentally or physically. Encourage your staff to go and walk around or change up their environments from time to time to maintain motivation.
If Available, Offer A Flexible Work Schedule: If your employees can work from home, a coffee shop or just change around there start times, do it! Allowing them that freedom will let them that you trust them and respect their lives as well.
Get Puppies In The Office: Nothing breathes life into an office space like a fluffy bundle of joy. Work with a local shelter to get a few hours of puppy time. Therapy dogs have been proven to reduce stress at work.
Take The Office Out To Volunteer: Team bonding is great for motivation. You could even take it one step further by bonding while helping others. This is a great way to give back to the community and encourage your team to do more good deeds.
Ask Them Directly What Motivates Them: Straight up ask them what motivates them. How will you ever figure out the best way to motivate without asking?
We have all grown up with parents who have preached a great job must include benefits. Benefits are non-wage compensations that can be used towards different services depending on the plan. In Canada, this may include dental, optometry, massage therapy or childcare. In some cases, they can be a big help especially if one family member benefits can be used for their entire immediate family. But for a lot of young single people, they are still being told that a true indicator of the quality of the job is based on if they have benefits or not.
Research has shown that people would rather take less money and have benefits than have more money and decide where it would go. So, the true benefit of benefits might be that they act as a savings account for routine check-ups to the dentist plus a massage here and there. It’s alarming to hear that many people won’t go to the dentist or other services if they are not covered by their employers.
Here’s the thing though, businesses can offer your benefits that actually might be more beneficial to you in business. Such as:
- Advancement Within the Company
- Posting Internal Job Positions
- Tuition Reimbursements
- Training Programs
- Flexible Hours
- Casual Dress
These are a few benefits that will benefit you in your career and your current job. If a job offers you features like these, it’s time to start looking at them as the real benefits. Besides, if you can’t budget to visit the dentist how are your budgeting to fill up your car with gas? Or buy groceries? Make sure you aren’t turning down an incredible job because of outdated entitlement.
At the end of the day, money cannot buy happiness. If that is the aim of your raises or rewards or benefits than you are wrongly mistaken. What it comes down to is demonstrating your appreciation for your employees in multiple ways. Money is only a temporary fix and cannot keep motivation afloat. The culture, the values, the recognition and the job satisfaction should be your main target of motivating your team.
That was it for this week’s podcast. Just as a reminder, our weekly podcast comes out every Tuesday on Youtube, Spotify, Google Podcast and Apple Podcast.
As always you can email me at email@example.com with your comments and ideas.
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JOSHUA CAMPBELL (@knowledgebrkr)
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre, Brokerage
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