Money is a huge incentive in business, but it’s not the only way to get the best out of your team. In fact, studies have shown that monetary rewards lag behind many other incentives when it comes to encouraging employees to go the extra mile. Today’s employees are motivated by a whole range of different factors, many of which won’t cost your business a penny. Take a look at these recommendations of eight ways to keep staff motivated, and you could soon be introducing hugely profitable changes that empower and inspire your staff.

Encourage flexible working

Flexible working is big news at the moment, and its prevalence within business is set to grow over the coming years. Businesses that provide flexible working options have reported a huge upsurge in productivity, and employees often cite it is a key perk.

recent survey, reported in the Independent, found that team members who are offered flexible working tend to take less leave, and work more productively. Consider flexible working arrangements for your team, and encourage employees to work in ways that best suit them. Options might include for example remote working, flexible working hours or even unlimited holidays.

Focus on teamwork

Teamwork is massively important where motivation is concerned, and that’s why top businesses encourage it as much as possible. To ensure that your employees are fulfilling their potential, it’s a great idea to introduce fun team building challenges and activities that help build a sense of belonging. The more employees know about their colleagues, the more effective they’ll be when it comes to working together.

Banish boredom

If there’s one thing that really quashes motivation, it’s boredom. Make sure your employees have plenty of variety in their working days, and ensure that those responsible for some of the most repetitive tasks get plenty of breaks and interaction. Encourage employees to spend a proportion of their time focusing on a project that interests them, and give them time to explore opportunities for personal growth.

Show appreciation

It doesn’t cost anything to show your appreciation for a job well done. If you want to decrease staff turnover and increase productivity, it’s essential that staff feel valued and happy at work. The link between happiness and productivity has been scientifically proven. Economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness makes people 12% more productive. Conversely, unhappy workers proved 10% less productive over the course of the research.

A simple ‘thanks’ is often enough to really improve a co-worker’s day, and avoid any feelings of dissatisfaction. Ensure that the entire company is aware of the importance of showing appreciation, and make it a key part of your company’s culture. Before long you’ll notice that workers are happier, and more productive as a result.

Provide opportunities for personal growth

We can’t talk about motivation without mentioning development. Training and career progression is one of the biggest motivators within workplaces, and a lack of scope for training can significantly increase staff turnover rates. It’s vital that staff have access to training opportunities, in order to achieve their own personal goals as well as those of the business.

Career development opportunities provide the potential for businesses to invest in individuals, ensuring their ongoing happiness at work and improving prospects for the company as a whole.

Listen to your employees

It might sound simple, but it really works. It’s hugely important for employees to feel heard in the workplace. If they don’t, they may keep brilliant ideas to themselves, or hold back from changing processes for the better.

Take the time to greet individuals, and spend a proportion of each day speaking to every member of the business. Doing so will enable you to build friendships as well as working relationships, and it will also help employees to share their thoughts and feelings about the company.

If you feel that employees might not want to divulge information or ideas, provide a way in which they can do so anonymously. This will enable them to alert you to dissatisfaction, and make changes to improve any problems that could affect their motivation.

Share targets and be transparent

Employees will struggle to feel motivated at work if they don’t understand the overall objectives and targets of the company. So, it’s always a great idea to share as much information as you can, so staff fully appreciate where the business is at, and where it’s going.

The more employees know, the better equipped they’ll be to push in the areas that need work. Providing employees with data on the business will also ensure that they know they’re a key part of the team, and their opinion matters.

There are many great ways to share information within companies. For example you could provide real-time data through an easily accessible dashboard, report regularly via meetings and conferences or circulate a newsletter that gives an outline of targets, business goals and long term plans.

Offer incentives

If you’re looking to boost productivity and increase drive, you’ll want to focus on the carrot,  rather than the stick. Incentives are a great way to push employees to step outside of their comfort zones and stay motivated.

The type of incentive you offer depends entirely on what you’re looking to achieve, and what you think might appeal to your team members. Experiences are an excellent way to incentivise, and can provide excellent team-building opportunities at the same time. Experience-style incentives such as city breaks, spa days, meals and theatre tickets enable employees to spend time together in a relaxed, fun environment. That’s great news for nurturing relationships and improving collaboration.


To sum up, the importance of motivation cannot be understated. Impacting everything from productivity and collaboration to problem-solving and communication, employee motivation levels can drive a business forward, or send it spiralling into stagnation.

Make sure team members feel appreciated, valued and empowered, and offer opportunities that inspire and encourage. By doing so, you’ll unlock the potential of every single team member, and get the best results for your business.