5 Low-Cost Ways to Motivate Employees this Festive Season

After a mixed 2013 and with the festive season upon us, it’s more important than ever to focus on cost-effective employee motivation strategies.

Your people are your business. They are the front line to your clients, suppliers and key stakeholders; so keeping your employees motivated and in turn happy will ensure that your business continues to thrive and survive in the current economic environment.

It’s a myth that employee motivation strategies are costly. Some of the best strategies I’ve come across don’t cost the earth and are actually more about implementing simple things that make a difference to your employees.

Here are 5 low-cost employee engagement strategies you can implement this festive season:

1.  Find out what your employees want

All too often employers make the mistake of guessing what’s important to their employees, or applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach to employee motivation. Instead, recognise that each employee is different and what motivates or is important to one employee, may not be relevant to another. Take the time to ask each employee (either 1:1 or via survey) what’s important to them – it could be reward and recognition, education and training or flexible working hours. Then work this into a motivation strategy that works for each employee.

2.  Build a great organisational culture 

Research shows that organisations with high employee engagement consistently achieve up to 20% more profitability than those with low engagement. 20% difference in profitablity is enormous! Key attributes of companies with great organisational culture are high levels of communication (you can never communicate too much!), positivity and above all – teamwork.

3.  Create a healthy workplace

What does work/life balance look and feel like in your organisation? What steps can you take as an employer to encourage a healthy workforce? A healthy workforce is a productive one! Perhaps it’s gym memberships, personal training sessions, quarterly in-office massages, group health fund memberships, annual corporate health checks or simply a delivery of fresh fruit for the staff kitchen.

4.  Encourage and recognise innovation

Regardless of your company size, all employees need to feel that their ideas are heard, reviewed and actioned. Does your office environment and organisational leadership foster the generation and sharing of innovative ideas? You may not adopt the beanbag and tablet approach of Google, but providing communal and open-plan spaces can help foster an innovative culture of sharing and listening. Equally important is recognising the ideas your people bring to the business. This can be as simple as communicating the achievement to all staff or rewarding the individual in a more significant way; commensurate with the value that their idea has added to the business.

5.  Focus on the ‘little things’

In the current economic market it’s about the little things, the ‘low cost’ or in fact ‘no cost’ actions – feeling valued, inspired, listened to and contributing to something meaningful. Most successful organisations have aligned themselves to a community or charitable group that reflects their own values and beliefs. Companies giving back to the community and creating opportunities for staff to do the same, embed a unique culture.

Why not implement some of these cost-effective employee motivation strategies to ensure your business thrives both now and into the new year.

This is not an exhaustive list of motivation strategies! Please share your ideas on cost-effective employee motivation strategies that have worked for you in the comments section below.


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