Happy employees are essential to your business. When your team members are engaged, they provide better customer service which turns into more sales and higher revenue. Happy employees also lead to lower turnover rates, which means you spend less time vetting, hiring, and training new staff. 

Motivating and inspiring your staff doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. In fact, you can build in little motivation activities throughout the week. Follow these eight tips to motivate your team.  

1. Express Gratitude

Everyone likes money and is unlikely to turn down a raise or bonus for their work; however, money isn’t everything. Studies have found that there are other ways to motivate your team members when you can’t afford to increase their salaries. 

Roughly 83% of employees believe that recognition for their contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts, and 88% percent said receiving praise from managers was extremely motivating.

You don’t necessarily need an extravagant gesture to show gratitude to your employees. Small statements of recognition throughout the day can go a long way. Minor gifts, like thank-you donuts in the break room, can show that you care about your staff. It doesn’t take much to make your team feel appreciated.  

2. Recognize Top Performers

Along with showing gratitude to your staff as a whole, you can motivate your team by recognizing the top performers or hardest-working staff each week or month. A public pat on the back and announcement during a team meeting can let your hardest workers know that they are valued and that their efforts are noticed. You can either do this through a company announcement, by posting it on in-store digital signage, or even sharing on social media. 

Plus, this incentivizes your other employees to work harder to get also recognition – and maybe even a reward. 

3. Identify Employee Pain Points

One of the best things you can do to motivate your employees is to show that you care about their problems and find ways to help them. As soon as your employees realize that management doesn’t care about their needs, they will start to look elsewhere. 

Create an open channel of communication, whether it is through an anonymous form or casual weekly check-in to discuss any problems or opportunities. Then, take steps when possible to address them. 

Recommended Reading: How to Communicate with Employees in a Growing Organization or Facility

4. Create a Positive Work Environment 

You don’t feel good when you come home to a dirty house, and the same can be said about your workplace. If your employees work in a space that is dingy or uninspiring, then they aren’t going to feel good about their jobs – and your customers aren’t going to like your business, either. 

Small steps, like making sure your business has pleasant sounds and smells through scent marketing, can motivate your team and boost your customer base. For example, studies have found that music makes employees more productive. It boosts their moods and gives them more energy to get work done. Adding overhead music that matches your brand can excite your employees while helping with branding.   

Recommended Reading: What Celine Dion and Walmart Can Teach Us About Overhead Music’s Impact on Employee Experience

5. Develop Opportunities to Grow 

Along with praise, your employees will respond positively to new challenges and opportunities available to them. These development opportunities allow for a break from the norm and give your staff space to try new things. Plus, cross-training can also make your business stronger. If there is a hole in your staff for the day, someone else can step in and fill it because they are trained in each role within the company.

Even if you can’t give your team members new skills, try to find ways for them to learn. At the very least, this makes their jobs more interesting.      

6. Set Clear and Reasonable Goals

Your employees already work hard for you, but if you want to motivate your team, give them something to work toward. Set sales goals for the day or challenge your team members to make fewer errors each week. 

Tie these clear goals to rewards for your staff. This allows you to track employee progress while giving your staff something to work toward. Take it one step further, and help your team keep an eye on their goals by using a on-screen progress platform that is displayed in break-rooms and employee areas.  

7. Encourage New Ideas and Ways of Doing Things

If you can’t give your team members additional responsibilities or opportunities to try new things, then try to be open to their ideas for improvement. Your staff is on the front lines. They can see when a process isn’t working and can take steps to make it better. However, if you shoot down every idea they have, then your team will just keep working ineffeciently. 

Even if you can’t adopt the new ideas and suggestions by your team members, take time to explain why their ideas can’t be used and encourage them to keep brainstorming better ways of doing things. This will motivate your team through recognition and care. 

8. Gamify the Workplace to Get Unpleasant Tasks Done

Every company has unpleasant tasks that most team members don’t want to do. From returning merchandise left in the dressing rooms to cleaning up the store, your team members may procrastinate on these tasks and make your brick-and-mortar location look bad. 

Consider gamifying these tasks by offering rewards for getting them done. You can turn the work into a competition, with the less savory tasks earning more points or benefits. Little prizes, like a paid lunch break for a week or a small gift card, can motivate employees to work harder while instilling friendly competition across the team.  

Motivate your Team to Improve the In-Store Customer Experience 

Your customers notice when your employees are dragging their feet and don’t want to be there. By following these tips, you can improve employee morale and engage your team members to create a better working environment. 

For other tips on how to make your employees more happy and engaged so they can provide a better experience for customers, check out our post on “How to Make Life Easier on Your Employees.” It explains how you can improve your store to offer eight big benefits to your staff.