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Money, is it the only way to motivate your team?

Minimum wage is going up again! Which raises an interesting question, how do you keep those in your team, who are already being paid above minimum wage, motivated with the ever-decreasing pay gap? Many small businesses are already working hard to afford the increased minimum wage, and to maintain the differential for those above minimum wages would mean paying them 5.8% more. For many, doing this is simply unaffordable.

This doesn’t change the fact that your loyal employees who have worked their way up from $16.50 to $22 an hour over the last five years, will now be paid $2 more than an inexperienced new employee, and are likely to feel pretty unmotivated by this!

So how do you retain those experienced and loyal employees?

We know that while people don’t work harder the more they are paid, the perceived lack of money can be a huge demotivator. $22 an hour may have looked generous to your employee, until they see inexperienced employees getting $20 an hour.  

This is when it becomes hugely important to address intrinsic (internal) motivational factors. These types of rewards do take time and effort, but can be hugely rewarding to your team. Putting the extra effort in can increase motivation, and lessen the perceived lack of value/rewards.

What this looks like in practice:

Recognising effort- Ensuring that you acknowledge your good performers and appreciate your staff can go a long way to increasing motivation. Phrases like, “Well done today, I noticed you worked really hard.”, or “Thanks so much for staying late today, it made a big difference.”, can have a very positive impact on your employee morale.

Progress- Employees who can see that they are achieving a purpose are often motivated to improve performance and feel successful. Ensuring that you communicate to your team your company goals and your progress towards them, and sitting down with them to plan how to achieve their personal goals can be a great motivator.

Reward good performers- Many employers don’t know it, but they often punish their good performers. Efficient employees who are good at managing their time are often ‘punished’ by being given more work or unpleasant work that others have put off doing. If your good performer has finished their work early on a Friday, why not consider rewarding them by letting them knock off early?

Job titles- Don’t under-estimate the importance of job titles.
Recognising senior staff can go a long way to motivating them to keep improving performance and stay longer!

Have questions?

Get in touch! Our team are passionate about helping create great places to work and would be more than happy to help. 


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