13 Fun Ways To Motivate Employees Without Spending A Dime


In today’s age, most of the organizations like to boast about running ‘lean and mean’. It may seem nearly impossible to compensate employees for doing good work without breaking the bank. However in reality, you can reward your employees for their good work without even spending a dime.

ways to motivate employees

Ways to motivate employees

There are some ways to motivate your employees that cost practically nothing except a big heart and a good intent.

1. Dial up the fun quotient

Why must work and the work environment be both serious? Bring in some fun in everyday activities and you will see how things lighten up on the floor. Incentivize early birds to office, reward zero absenteeism, include games quiz post lunch to ward off the fatigue or watch latest Game of Thrones episode on big screen after work hours.

2. Praise in public

Yes, follow the classic management rule of ‘praise in public and criticize in private’. A pat on the back in the bay in front of the team members is often a good enough reward to make any somebody’s day.

3. A Thank you and Please, please

It is part of their job yes, but social niceties aren’t a bad virtue to have. Being gracious and appreciative of people and their efforts goes a long way.

4. Strike up a casual conversation

Ask them about their interests, their weekend over a coffee in the cafeteria. The key is to keep it casual and not to be nosey. Such conversations usually warm people to each other and show your light-hearted side too.

5. Wall of fame

Set aside a nice space in the office, cafeteria or reception perhaps, and place photos of the employees who have performed well during that week or month. Public appreciation is a good morale booster.

6. A shorter work day on special days

It may not sound much but allowing them to leave early on birthdays and anniversaries is a sure shot way to win hearts and thereby, increase productivity.

7. Flexi work hours

A flexi work hour system is one reward that rises above the rest. For most industries flexi work hours is the perk that offers the most gain, with least pain. As long as the employee is not abusing the privilege, this one scores the best.

8. Be accessible, to people and new ideas

Give your employees the confidence to walk up to you whenever they have a concern that needs to be redressed. And also when they have a new idea, they should be able to pitch that forward without the fear of being put down by the seniors.

9. Open Mic nights

Your team will be full of talent and you are not even aware of that! Organize open mic nights post work and encourage stand up acts, karaoke session. You could also hold morning yoga class if one of you is an avid yoga practitioner. Basically, keep the interest alive.

10. ‘Bring your pet to work’ day

Have a day when you all can bring your cute pooches, purring cats to work. However, do watch out for roars and meows while on a client call!

11. Muffins to go with the coffee

Who doesn’t love a chocolate or blueberry muffin while they are sipping their coffee in the morning? Surprise them on a morning over coffee.

12. ‘Dress up to work’ day

Find a day in the month when everyone comes to office all dressed up as per the theme. This is not just fun but also lightens up the otherwise bad moods, bruised egos at work.

13. Legalize the catnaps

You see them with their heads down for some minutes. Go on record, say it is ok to nap for a short bit and we all live in peace!

Also read: How to Foster a Culture of Engaged Employees

You don’t have to increase salaries or give out hefty bonuses every time your team is in the need for some motivation to work hard. Talk to them, understand their cause for worry, add some fun elements in everyday routine and make work environment light and healthy. You would be surprised on how you did not have to spend any money at all and motivation level of the team is up.

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From being a qualified Chartered Accountant to being a full-time content writer now. From being a true-blue Delhi Girl to now trying to ace peak hour rush at Andheri station. From always being on the lookout for a chole bhature stall in Delhi to now happily accepting dabelis and vada pavs.
Naina always strives for things that challenge her, career to interests. Food, travel, people and stories are some of her favourite subject matters.

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