Can’t lavish employees with big raises or bonuses? Don’t take that as an excuse for unmotivated staffers. It’s not about the money.
Maybe your company isn’t in a position to go “greener” when it comes to salaries. Even if there’s no spending freeze, now’s probably not the best time to go much further than modest pay increases across the board.
Are you bracing for the drop in motivation and productivity that comes with such a decision?
Turns out, while money can contribute to a morale boost (and usually a short-term one at that), it doesn’t really serve as a de-motivator. That’s good news for finance execs.
That’s what doesn’t work. But at times like these, it’s critical that managers understand just what does.
Here are three factors critical to the motivation game, so your company and its employees can both win:
1. Emphasize the real top issue
Most folks now say the benefits their employers offer are most important to them. Makes sense, considering the astronomical costs (and personal stress) attached to health care, retirement, etc.
But here’s the trouble: A full 40% of employees say they either don’t appreciate or understand how much the benefits they currently receive are worth!
There’s a quick fix. For starters, you want to quantify just what your benefits package is worth (don’t forget to include all those dependent benefits, too).
It can also help to put your organization’s offerings in a greater context. For example, maybe your company has a lower healthcare co-pay than others in your industry. That’s something else worth calling to people’s attention. Does your 401(k) outperform the national average? Pass that along.
2. Show ’em that what they do counts
That’s a concrete thing you can offer, but the “softer side” needs to fit into the equation, too.
It may sound corny when HR folks say it, but sometimes it’s a matter of showing staffers you appreciate their efforts that goes the furthest in terms of motivating them.
The occasional “nice job” probably isn’t going to cut it. But there are some relatively painless ways to show them that their work is important. (They won’t break the bank either.) A few ideas:
- Show interest in their aspirations. Employees understand they’re valuable to you when you invest in opportunities to help them along their career path. A webinar or one-day seminar won’t set you back more than $150. But if you send a young superstar to a local “skills for new managers” course, you’re showing them they’re headed in the right direction and that you want to keep them around.
- Offer it from another source. Sure, your people know that you think they’re doing well. But how about when A/P saved the day by cutting that emergency check? You could start collecting nice things customers — internal or external — have said about Finance. Sharing them in staff meetings, or even posting them in your department, is a constant reminder that what they do matters.
3. Remember one size doesn’t fit all
What also matters: that you take into account the different personalities on your finance team.
No two people will be motivated by the same things. You probably can’t tailor a rewards program to each member of your staff. But you can take into account what sorts of things would make those individuals most happy.
The parents of young children, for example, might love a more flexible schedule. Someone in their 20s might appreciate the ability to take their vacation time all in one block, so they can hit Europe or head home for an extended holiday visit.
When in doubt, just ask. Talk with your people about what’s most important to them.
Beats jacking up salaries!