4 free ways to boost employee motivation in 2023

In recent months, employers and employees have had a tough run, and as the rising cost of living continues budgets on both sides are being stretched to the max. With burnout on the rise globally, according to a new study from Slack, it’s crucial now more than ever to prioritise boosting motivation and morale while looking after your employees. 

Doing so doesn’t just help your people out, it sets the foundations for a positive culture and a happy work environment, which in turn helps with productivity, according to research from Oxford University. 

And it doesn’t have to cost you. Well, maybe a bit of your time, yes – but we’re not talking about expensive learning and development courses or team social meals or nights out here… 

We’ve put together a practical guide to work into your retention strategy, to improve, boost and enhance your people’s motivation -without spending a sweet penny!

Champion a healthy work-life balance 

We know your life doesn’t stop when you start working BUT there is a necessity to promote a balanced lifestyle among your employees. Gen Z is at the forefront of this, and according to an LSE report, they have the desire to champion work-life balance and flexible hours which allows them to still pursue hobbies, interests and side hustles. 

If you’re a manager that sets the bar by working long shifts, countless hours of overtime and messaging out-of-hours at 11.30pm on a Friday, your people will feel it! Over a period of time, it will start to impact motivation and your culture. 

So communicate the importance of taking regular breaks, getting fresh air, sticking to boundaries and leading by example. And if you have flexible working practices in place, make sure these are highlighted regularly, and share the benefits you’ve found personally from having things like flexitime in your policy toolbox. It not only encourages employees to make use of initiatives like these but also acts as a reminder of the flexibility the workplace offers, which in turn will motivate employees and help them feel less restricted. 

Respect is a two-way street, and they will thank you for it.

Give praise and regular feedback

It takes a team to keep a business going. But sometimes, it can be easy to forget to regularly praise and give feedback to the employees helping to turn those cogs, particularly outside of annual review times and personal development check-ins. But it’s SO important. 

And it has to be done in a sincere way, because according to the OC Tanner 2023 Global Culture report, while 61% of employees said their managers may have touched on the great work they do, 31% of them said that recognition was received in an “uncomfortable” way.

So if someone has done a good job, tell them, but make it sincere. It’s no secret we all love a bit of praise, so even if you can’t splash the cash on £100 Amazon vouchers, a simple ‘thank you, that was a great job you did there’ will go a long way to boosting morale.

A great leader helps people to grow, and informal feedback does exactly that. So remember to show employees that you appreciate them. It really does propel engagement, retention, productivity and motivation. 

Create opportunities for career development 

With a whopping 60% of employees looking to leave their current job to seek better career prospects, communicating a clear career progression plan and development opportunities is crucial to motivating your employees.  

And while learning and development budgets might be tighter, focus on the things you can control internally. 

Many employees (78%) are keen to learn new skills in their current roles, so upskill the talent you have. It can help you to bridge the soft skills gap between roles, make employees feel valued and in turn, motivated. This will only help your retention efforts as your people will feel there’s a reason to stay and grow with the company if you invest in them. 

Regularly update your team 

Communication is king, believe it or not. 

You might not initially associate communication with motivation, but regularly informing employees of updates or changes to the business is really important. It helps to build trust and rapport with your people and majorly impacts motivation, engagement and productivity. Yet many employees feel they’re often kept out of the loop, according to research from CIPD

Plan regular update calls, and bring you people on the journey, however bumpy, because an invested workforce who can see the overall picture really helps them to understand how they play a part of one big team.

So there we have it – four ways to boost employee motivation without spending a penny! 

Mastered the retention of your staff, but struggling to recruit? We might have a few answers for that. 

Check out our blog on “3 reasons you might be struggling to recruit in 2023” for more tips.

Luke Richardson

A highly experienced recruitment leader with a background in regulated, consumer facing financial organisations, broadcasting and media, tech start-ups and hospitality.

A serial hobbyist, lover of animals and the go-to person when looking for an “out there” idea or solution.
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