Cultivating a team of motivated employees can help drive the overall success of your company. Creating a work environment where people feel valued, appreciated and inspired to do good work can help boost employee engagement and help your small business accomplish new goals.

As a business leader, though, you might find yourself unsure how to inspire employees. Will you have to depend on perks like money to keep team members working toward common goals? Fortunately, that doesn't always have to be the case. You can help employees reach new heights and increase their job satisfaction without having to depend on financial gains.

We'll explore how to motivate employees without money, encouraging hard work and creating an environment where the best employees shine. Here's what you need to know about becoming an effective motivator.

How Employee Motivation Impacts Your Company

Cultivating an environment where motivation is common, and co-workers and employees alike want to help the business succeed will have a measurable impact on your bottom line. In fact, motivated employees can increase business profits by as much as 27%.

This is because people who don't feel motivated aren't as productive. Remember that your employees help form what your company is. They are the ones who face customers or clients and produce the products or services you sell. If your team doesn't have some enthusiasm for what they do, this will reflect in their work ethic and in their engagements with customers or clients. A team of unmotivated employees can become a terrible drain on what the organization is capable of accomplishing.

How to Motivate Employees Without Money

As you prepare to build your strategy for motivating employees, there are a number of ideas that you can leverage. Regardless of whether your startup only has a few employees or your small business has begun to grow, you can implement these different ideas to build the workplace culture you want.

Let's explore some of the most successful, non-financial techniques you can use to motivate and inspire your workers.

Start With "Thank You"

Employees want to feel appreciated. People tend to underestimate the happiness that a simple "thank you" can bring to another person, but don't fall into that trap. If you have employees who have achieved important goals, let them know that you notice and appreciate their efforts with a simple thanks. This can help them feel like a valuable member of the team and inspire them to continue working their hardest.

Show Employees How They Impact Company Success

No one wants to continually toil at a job where they don't know the value of their work or really even understand why they do what they do. You want to help your employees feel as though they play an integral role in the success of your organization.

Helping your employees see the value of what they are doing can help them feel a greater connection to the organization as a whole and increase their buy-in when it comes to company goals. These employees feel a sense of purpose in what they accomplish for the organization and see how their role fits. When employees feel a strong sense of purpose, they naturally perform better and are more likely to stay with the organization.

Adapt to Employee Wants and Needs

When it comes to creating a healthy, productive workplace, you need to make sure that you understand and adapt to your employees' needs. This can help you create an environment where having a work-life balance is respected. Workplaces with a strong work-life balance help minimize feelings of exhaustion and burnout and create a better overall work environment.

Adapting to the needs of your employees lets them know that they and their contributions are valued. Create a company culture where people feel confident letting business owners or other leaders on the team know what they need to help them succeed. For example, if an employee has a nasty commute, but arriving 30 minutes later in the morning allows them to avoid it, graciously allowing them to come 30 minutes later and leave 30 minutes later can help nurture feelings of goodwill. Employees know they are valued as people rather than just a warm body to accomplish a task.

Create Clear Goals With Employees

Clear goals can provide tremendous inspiration for employees. Goals give them something concrete that they can work toward. When people have realistic, reasonable goals that they can work toward, they can see jumps by as much as 25% in their productivity. Goals provide employees with a clear, focused area where they can concentrate their efforts and then give them something to celebrate when they accomplish them.

You can also consider celebrating achievements with your employees, such as by offering a lunchtime pizza or other party prizes for those who reach particular goals. If a large group reaches company-wide goals, you can also offer a company picnic that will give people a chance to relax during the workday.

Let Employees Express Their Beliefs

Your employees want to know that they are heard. When people feel heard and understood, they feel more at home in the organization, which helps build loyalty.

You want to nurture an environment where employees feel free to express their ideas. They should feel confident voicing alternative means of solving problems and new strategies for moving the company forward. When people feel as though the final decision of a group reflects their thinking, they will feel more invested in the outcome.

Create Friendly Competitions Among Workers

Sometimes, gamification can have a tremendously positive impact on employees. This technique is valued for its ability to help people feel engaged and absorb more information, starting on the very first day during employee onboarding. It can also provide people with additional motivation to excel in certain situations. Sales competitions, for example, encourage employees to do their best and see what they can accomplish in a defined time period.

These competitions can offer rewards that people will appreciate but still do not have to include money. A better-reserved parking spot for members of the team, a longer lunch break, or even announcements and recognition on social media can help maintain an atmosphere of lighthearted, friendly competition.

The key lies in keeping the atmosphere friendly and supportive for everyone, regardless of their team. This prevents excessive competition from developing among employees.

Make Your Workplace as Fun As It Can Be

You want to nurture a work environment where your employees feel comfortable and enjoy their time spent at work. A workplace culture that encourages people to have fun, build relationships with other professionals, celebrate victories and otherwise encourages camaraderie will nurture loyalty and reduce turnover.

You want to create a strong sense of community to help improve retention and boost employee morale. An environment where people eagerly dive into work but also enjoy their time creates a healthy work environment.

Ensure a Financially Sound Workplace With Software From Skynova

As you begin to build your business and hire employees, you will want to find an accounting software solution to help you stay on top of your books. With easy-to-use and customizable templates for invoices and other business documents, Skynova was built for small business owners just like you.

While you focus on building a work environment of collaboration and camaraderie, Skynova will be busy helping you make your business financially safe and sound. As you build your business, take advantage of our educational resources, as well.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines for motivating employees and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a human resources professional to ensure you're meeting workplace standards.