Five no-cost ways to motivate your employees

By: Paul D Foster

Date: 26 April 2012

Here are five things a small-business owner can offer to motivate their employees.

1 Flexibility

The old school philosophy is you have to put in long hours because that’s what the boss had to do when he/she was young. Well, the world has changed. The next generation wants flexibility in their schedule and they are willing to work hard to get more freedom to plan their time. I know when I am going on vacation, I get a lot more done the day before I leave. This proves employees will work harder if they are motivated by the flexibility of getting time-off.

2 Leadership

Employees want to be led. They want you to plan for the future of the business, make good strategic decisions and run the business well enough so they don’t have to go looking for a new job. This is why the good leaders communicate their vision of the future with clarity and focus. The team follows easier if they know where they are going.

3 Fun

There is a direct correlation between fun workplaces and productive workplaces. If you can create some fun in your work environment, the result will be happy and productive people.

4 Fairness

If there is a perception of unfairness in the workplace, employee habits may become dysfunctional. A business-owner must make sure he or she is fair to employees. Although perceptions can’t be controlled, the effort to be fair can be.

5 Respect

Respect goes both ways. As the business-owner you have to go first. When you are respectful to others, you typically get respect back. In multiple surveys of employees I’ve done, respect always scores higher than money in importance.

What is the financial cost of providing flexibility, leadership, fun, fairness and respect to your employees? It’s zero, but the benefits are huge!

Paul Foster is founder and CEO of The Business Therapist, an online business coaching resource.