A small business can face many of the same difficulties a large business deal with, but with one big (big) difference: they don’t have the same budget. Incentives and motivations can be a great way to boost morale, build a team atmosphere, and motivate your employees, but what can you do if you don’t have the money?
Don’t worry – there are many inexpensive things you can do to show appreciation and create a positive atmosphere! Here are ten ideas that show that staff motivation is a piece of cake…
1. …or pizza!
Pizza is an inexpensive, crowd-pleasing way to thank your staff for their hard work. Skip chains and check out all the local places. Find the best place by taking an office vote and ranking the pies you’ve tried. Not having to make and take a lunch to work is a pretty sweet perk, too.
2. And maybe include a beer.
In moderation, of course, but a beer to celebrate an achievement can be great to motivate with. Gauge the appropriateness before committing, though! Maybe buy a round on a Friday after work.
3. Stay on top of birthdays
It doesn’t have to be much – a card, maybe a gift certificate to Tim Horton’s. But remembering, recognizing, and appreciating staff birthdays can show that the higher-ups really care about them!
4. Have a door-open policy
If you’re a team leader or manager, don’t close yourself off all the time. Be receptive to ideas, questions, and concerns, and let your office policy reflect your openness. Creating a positive atmosphere can often mean making small attitudinal changes, and these can turn into big team wins.
5. Throw a potluck
A potluck lunch lets everyone show off their favourite recipes, try new things, and come together as a team. Plan ahead, and maybe have a signup sheet so not everyone brings slow cookers full of meatballs!
6. Flexible work schedules
Does your office run on laptops? Try adding a weekly work-from-home day. Make it clear to your staff that, in case of small emergencies like sick children, working from home isn’t a big deal. This can add some peace of mind, letting your workers handle their busy home lives while staying focused!
Take the time to recognize achievements. If your employees are comfortable with it, do it in front of the group. A “great job!” can mean a lot, especially if delivered with sincerity. Appreciation doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
8. Team meetings
Make sure everyone’s on the same page with consistent, weekly team meetings. These can foster a sense of camaraderie and let workers hash out problems together. Be receptive to feedback, give everyone a chance to speak their mind, don’t own the floor, and be flexible – nothing is more frustration than being in the zone and having to stop for a meeting!
9. Bake cookies and bring coffee
Or brownies and tea. Or cinnamon buns and hot chocolate. Coming into the office with treats ready and waiting can be a delicious surprise that starts the day off right.
10. Motivate with trust
Sometimes, the best way to motivate your staff is to run a transparent, goals-driven work environment. Let them know what you want from them. Be clear about movement and opportunities in the company, and trust them with additional projects and authority. Motivation can come from work, too!
Demonstrating a positive environment by bringing your best work and attitude to the office can be a great motivator. But sometimes, a couple of pepperoni pizzas will do the trick, too!