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How can you motivate employees without money?

Tim Mara, Flowers Gallery

Motivating people without money is the subject of an article by Matthew Boyle on Businessweek.com.

The topic is certainly pertinent as, according to a survey of nearly 80,000 workers by the Corporate Executive Board, 20% of employees now consider themselves disengaged from their job, compared with one out of ten last summer, and over 66% companies surveyed in late 2008 by Quantum Workplace had lower overall employee engagement scores compared with the previous year.

It's clear that in the economic downturn, as layoffs abound and companies are slashing budgets across the board, motivating employees is harder than ever.

"Creative compensation" is an option when budgets are tight. Boyle cites the option-exchange programs of Google and Starbucks where employees can trade out-of-the-money stock options for fresh new ones.

Ultimately, though, fulfilling work is the best reward. As Boyle points out: "Extrinsic rewards are clearly not a panacea — the psychological lift that employees get from doing work that matters to them can be just as valuable."

Motivating Without Money
Matthew Boyle