How to Improve Employee Morale — Without Pay Raises

The ability to give your employees pay increases is nice, but it's not always an option. Here are some alternative ways to keep your people happy.

It’s important that you have a happy workforce. A happy workforce means better retention, which means much less time and money spent finding, recruiting and training new people. It also means a more pleasant workplace, and it means team members who are focused, energetic and agreeable.

Actually keeping your people happy can be tough sometimes, because let’s face it: Any job can grow wearisome or stale from time to time. Burnout can happen, boredom can set in and morale can drop. The traditional way to keep employees happy and motivated is to just raise their pay, which is certainly effective. But what if you can’t actually afford to do that just now?

The good news for business owners is that there are alternative, much less expensive ways to keep employees happy. In lieu of heftier paychecks, consider any of the following approaches:

Invest in training, especially for your managers. Nothing sours you on a job like being led by someone you perceive to be incompetent, or someone who is simply a poor leader. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that all your managers and supervisors receive ongoing training, making them the best team leaders possible.

Give employees a sense of purpose. One way to keep people engaged in their work is to show them that what they do truly matters. Make sure you regularly remind your employees of your company vision, as well as any short-term goals you might have. Also be clear about the part each employee plays in fulfilling that mission.

Offer verbal affirmation. People like to be praised, especially in front of their peers. So when your employee does something really stellar, give him or her a pat on the back — publicly, if possible.

Be spontaneous. It’s OK to act on a whim every now and again, and your employees will really notice if you spontaneously give them a half-day off, buy everyone lunch or let them leave an hour early on Friday afternoon.

Spend time with your employees. There’s no substitute for being a personable leader. Get to know your employees a little bit. Mingle with them, ask about their kids or just chew the fat. Make yourself accessible to them, and don’t always focus on work stuff.

Provide flexibility. You may not be able to give all your people a pay raise or an extra day off, but you probably can allow one employee half a day to go to his son’s piano recital, or a couple of hours to get the family car serviced. Being loose and flexible about these things can really help employees feel appreciated, and employees who feel appreciated also feel happy.

The bottom line is that your time, attention and flexibility mean a great deal. In some cases, it may even mean more than money. Those three things certainly can help keep your team members happy.


About the author
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California, and Dublin, Ireland. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



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