For too long, financial incentives have been perceived as the primary way to motivate employees. However studies referenced the November 2009 issue of the McKinsey Quarterly suggest that certain non-cash motivators can have an even bigger impact for your staff. It of course needs to be noted that this article was written in the heart of the financial crisis, but I feel that it is just as important to keep costs down now in times of recovery.
Financial incentives have their place, but the article, “Motivating people: Getting beyond money,” presents three effective non-monetary options:
- Praise from immediate management – employee motivation can be increased by regular recognition for a job well done. This may seem obvious, but it goes a long way.
Increased one-on-one attention from management – a lack of interaction between management and staff creates a void that can be difficult to overcome. One-on-one meetings make your staff feel heard and valued.
- A chance to lead special projects & task forces – this can make your staff feel like they have a say in the company’s future and like you’re investing in theirs.
- These non-monetary motivation methods have a way of making employees feel valued and taken seriously with the only increased cost being management hours. There may be some pushback from management as this requires more time out of them, but the potential benefits to morale are worth it.
These non-cash incentives can even be a means of attracting new talent in addition to retaining the top talent you already have. While financial incentives such as bonuses and stock options have their place, these non-cash incentives do wonders to increase employee engagement.