Article: How to keep employees engaged with a tight budget

Employee engagement can be a hard nut to crack for many businesses – especially when you’re faced with a tight budget. A key challenge for organisations with restricted finances is, inevitably, to find a balance between remuneration expectations and what is possible.

To retain your workforce, you might want to consider moving away from extrinsic to intrinsic motivators and rewards. Let’s talk more about the difference as well as some useful tips for how your organisation can keep staff engaged with non-monetary benefits.

Extrinsic versus intrinsic rewards

When thinking about engaging employees, the classic approach is to provide extrinsic rewards. This involves things such as pay rises, bonuses and other monetary benefits. Intrinsic motivating factors on the other hand look at engagement from a psychological viewpoint, where a sense of purpose and progress is prioritised over remuneration.

For organisations working with a limited budget, particularly in the non-profit sector, understanding that money isn’t always the main motivating factor for employee engagement can be highly useful. This is particularly so in terms of aligning the organisation’s capabilities with engaging the right staff.

Non-monetary rewards

There are ways your business can engage your people without money playing a part:

1. Support independence

Most people want to feel trusted to do their work without being micromanaged. By giving employees the opportunity to work autonomously, you not only show that you trust their abilities, but also give them the space to live up to both your and their own expectations.

2. Provide growth opportunities

Professional growth is a key motivator for employees to remain with a business. More than that, encouraging high-performers to go to conferences or courses to further grow their knowledge can lead to not only a happier but more productive environment.

3. Show your appreciation

One of the easiest ways a business can make its employees feel valued is to recognise that you appreciate their hard work. Whether you show your gratitude through gift cards or an Employee of the Month program, openly recognising the value you see in your workforce can make the entire team stronger – all at a very low cost.

4. Offer flexibility

Research has shown time and time again that workers who are able to work flexibly tend to be more productive as well as more satisfied with their job. By allowing your employees to work remotely regularly where possible, you give them a sense of freedom whilst portraying your trust in their work. This, again, comes at little to no expense for your organisation but results in heightened engagement and happiness levels.

For more information or to ask a specific question about employee engagement, please feel free to contact one of the team.

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