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How To Keep Your Employees Motivated Without Raising Salaries


Lucrative paychecks are no longer driving an employee's decision to accept the job. Instead, 87% of employees say that they want to work for a company that genuinely cares about their well-being.

Feeling skeptical about such results? Well, Daniel Gilbert offers some good explanations in his book Stumbling on Happiness, mentioning that money increase happiness only when they lift people out of their objective poverty up to the middle class.  Once the basic needs are met, the increase of income will not always positively impact on your level of happiness or quality of life.

According to the latest UN World Happiness Report Denmark has the highest percentage of people, who are completely satisfied with their lives. What’s curious though is that this country has also one of the world’s smallest wealth gaps with a majority of people identifying themselves as middle class.  American multimillionaires, who took the survey proposed by Gilbert has an average happiness score of 5.8. Do you know how got the same score? Masai tribe respondents from Kenya, who live without electricity and running water.

Instead of proposing a raise in salaries, consider investing more in developing a better corporate culture. Here are a few essential strategies for that.

Adopt The Supportive Leadership Model

Your management should work closely with employees and focus on building meaningful personal relationships.

According to a recent survey conducted by Society for Human Resource Management, respectful treatment (72%) and trust between employees and senior management (64%) made to the contributor to the overall job satisfaction rates.

Supportive leadership means that you are not only setting yourself to high standards of accountability as an example for everyone, but also proactively try to influence on how employees see themselves. Improving the team’s morale and self-esteem can be done in numerous ways:

Break larger projects into a list of daily tasks to make sure everyone will accomplished at the end of the day.

Celebrate important milestones and praise individual work over the collective effort even if the contribution was small. Taking the time to reflect helps employees to appreciate how much they have managed to accomplish and feel more fulfilled. You can create a month-in-review or year-in-review parties for the matter.

Show you genuinely care – a personalized birthday card, a gift for the wedding, genuine support if something bad happens. “When people are loved, they will give more than you can imagine they could for you and your cause. Employees are the lifeblood of our operation. We want to make taking care of them our highest priority and to make sure they are ridiculously happy at all times,” – says  Amelia Wilcox.

Be there for your team in good times and bad times. Depression, overwork and being constantly stressed often leads to further physiological and health problems. Make sure your company does not stigmatize any kind of personal issues and offers genuine support for employees struggling with depression, gaming addiction  or any other personal struggles influencing the employee's’ performance.  

Foster The Feeling of Belonging

It’s essential for employees to feel like “they have a friend” at work. Occasionally, it gets tricky to accomplish for distributed teams and larger corporations, however, you should make sure people are acquainted with each other at least on the department level.

  • Make a quick introduction of a new employee and lead them up to everyone for a handshake and a personal introduction.

  • Create a company Wiki or portal, where all the employees contacts, pictures, and some funny, creative bios are listed.

  • Build a collective shared vision for the company and how they fit into this strategic plan. Get them involved in decisions as much as possible – from the color of the walls in the new room to more serious matters like deciding on a new logo or brand name.

  • Managers and leaders should appear available and approachable. The communication inside your organization should be a two-way street.

Create a “Light” Culture Within Your Organization

Boredom and routine are the two major negative influences the overall work satisfaction rates.  

Make sure that when mistakes happen, your management doesn’t start scolding immediately, but takes a “lighter” approach and provides constructive feedback. When some silly mishaps happen, joke and laugh it off to make the employee feel less stressed and guilty. Your team should know that it’s okay to be wrong sometimes as long as you can admit the mistake and learn your lesson.

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