You’ve worked hard to attract the right people to your company. But now, how do you keep them inspired and motivated for the long haul?
Keeping people stimulated is not only key to retention, but it’s also vital to productivity, performance, and company culture. You need to think outside the typical perks and rewards. Here are 12 unique things you can do that go beyond compensation that keep your people engaged in and passionate about their work
1. Build unique experiences
In any and every way possible, seek to create unique experiences for your team. For example, at Webconnex, we let our team design and decorate our office. We also took our entire company (plus spouses and kids) to Costa Rica for a month to work and learn how to surf. These unique experiences create huge payoffs for morale and culture. The trip to Costa Rica was such a hit, we did it twice!
2. Abolish job titles
People can stress out over titles. Try getting rid of them or letting people come up with their own. At Webconnex, we have let our team come up with their own titles that more closely resemble their personalities and skillsets
3. Impart ownership
If someone on your team feels like they are merely a cog in a system, they will suffer boredom and fatigue. Seek to give every team member total ownership over an area of their work where they get to have the greatest influence. When someone has autonomy over any area of their work, they’ll inevitably put more effort and passion toward it, because any results are a reflection of them and what they do.
4. Create traditions
It’s soul crushing when every work day is like the previous work day. At our office, we have all sorts of traditions to keep our workday from getting stale. From Bike Ride Friday, to Where’s Webconnex Wednesday, to even our Michael Scott Monday (remember The Office?), our weekly schedule is filled with company traditions that mix things up and keep people connected. In fact, nearly every day offers our team something unique and fun to look forward to.
5. Care for people beyond the workplace
The problems your team faces outside the workplace affect their work. How can you contribute to the health and thriving of people’s personal lives? We have helped people enroll in programs and covered the cost of counseling. When you invest in people’s personal growth, you get better employees who know you care about them beyond their workplace.
6. Publicly recognize your people
Your people won’t admit it, but they love it when they are recognized publicly for doing a good job. When someone gets a good review, builds a new feature, closes a new deal, or otherwise just goes the extra mile, recognize that person in front the whole company and even on social media. People feel like rock stars when you acknowledge them publicly.
7. Give personalized gifts
If you are going to give a gift, make it count. Anyone can give a generic gift card. But it takes time to find gifts that people will truly appreciate. One of our team members once shared a picture of a particular surfboard he liked. About 8 months later, we custom ordered it for him and gave it as a surprise. He had totally forgotten he ever shared it and was completely blown away.
8. Offer spontaneous bonuses
People learn to predict incentives on particular intervals. If someone is doing a kick-butt job, why wait 6 months for the official review to reward them? Reward them now, even if it is done in part. Chances are the person will even outperform during the next 6 months as well. Rewarding people at spontaneous times will make their current work more meaningful because their work is immediately recognized.
9. Evaluate and tweak job descriptions
It’s easy to feel trapped by one’s job description. Take time with your team members to regularly reevaluate their job description and current responsibilities. What are areas the person wants to grow in? Doing this, we learned that someone on our support team had a passion for writing and curating content. Shortly after, she took charge of leading our content strategy. It was transformational for her. A little tweak here or there might unlock brand new passion for a person’s work.
10. Actively seek regular feedback
Make it a regular habit to ask your team what’s working and what’s not working. If someone has a good idea, implement it fast. This process empowers your team to make things better and see changes immediately. People will really put their heart into their work if they feel like you welcome their interest in making things better.
11. Bestow freedom whenever possible
The best way to keep people from feeling stuck is to liberate them at every turn. Whether it is customizing schedules or workspaces, choosing workstations, or picking out benefits, let your team have as much freedom and choice as possible.
12. Exceed expectations
It’s easy to be satisfied by merely meeting expectations. What would it look like if your goal as a company was to exceed expectations for your team? The small marginal cost to do this is always worth it. It shows your team that they can expect the best from your company and that the company expects the best from them.
Your people are your greatest asset, and keeping them motivated and inspired should be one of your top priorities. With the willpower and the right strategy for your team, you can revolutionize your company culture and productivity.