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Entrepreneur Tips: 5 Non-Cash Ways to Motivate Your Employees and Build A Great Team

It’s no news that the success of any business lies in the hands of its employees, so how you motivate your employees determines how productive they can be and what kind of company you all become.

But when it comes to creating a productive team, money is never the only answer. Money is just one of many forms of motivation.

Former GE CEO Jack Welch once said:

There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understands how to achieve it.

On many occasions, business owners lag in the area of providing the necessary ‘get up’ drive their staff needs in order to work more efficiently. Although, financial supports can act as a mild propellant it only provides short-term motivation.

How then can you really motivate your employees without necessarily providing them with financial bonuses?

1. Give precise instructions, even when allowing for their input

Your employees are not bots. They are humans! You don’t expect to get a good result when you tell them to “ … just do it as you choose.” Instead, for better results you have to give precise expectations, not puzzles.

How does this increase your employees’ productivity in the long-run?


When you give your employees clear instructions and they follow it and deliver with positive results, it will definitely lead to a boost in your business. But beyond that, the employees involved will be proud of themselves for doing a good job. And to keep feeling they would do their best to work harder and even deliver better results subsequently.

It’s win-win.

2. Show concerns towards their personal life

Your staffs are not super-humans – they still experience tough times personally. Will you let them bear their crosses all alone? No!

According to former the chairperson and CEO of Xerox, Anne. M Mulcahy, “Employees who feel that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

Try reaching out to your staff members when the need arises. It’s not about money all the time, your few words of counseling, your physical presence at meaningful events or even a moment of concern asking about their family can go a long way in giving them a feeling of belonging. And in return, a personal decision will be taken to reciprocate your love and concern by creating a stronger attachment to you and the rest of the team.

3. Give them a chance to speak

It’s inhuman for you – as a boss – to create a noticeable level of fear in the hearts of your staffs towards providing suggestions and ideas that may prove invaluable in the improvement of your business. Instead, listen to their ideas, show a sign of appreciation, and then either use it or gracefully get rid of it later if you feel it won’t work out in “real life.”

By accommodating suggestions from them, you make them feel like valued members of the team capable of providing leadership. This is invaluable in two ways:

  • More ideas to help grow your business
  • See which employees have management or leadership potential for later

4. Applaud them when necessary

Sam Walton once said, “Appreciate everything your associates do for your business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free but worth a fortune.” Your staff is a major part of your business. Praising and applauding members when necessary will definitely motivate them to work even harder – that’s life!

5. Reciprocate their respect

When you make a mistake, you expect them to maintain respect. But when they commit an unavoidable error, what do you do? Chew them out? Embarrass them? Wrong move.

Stephen Covey’s famous quote, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers,” is the real baseline. The truth is this; if you grant them the respect they deserve, they’ll be motivated to work even harder and willing to take necessary risks in order to succeed!


When motivating your employees, always keep in mind that without them putting in an “extra effort,” your business might remain in its present financial state of “stagnation.”

As I pointed out earlier, motivation is not just all about offering financial or monetary incentives. There are other better and even more effective ways to get your staffers on their feet and assured a vibrant future for them and your business.

Remember, without a highly productive team, there will be no customers and without regular customers, there will be no business.


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