Employee motivation is something that is vital to the success of any company.

Motivation tends to be a little thought-of aspect of business, but it can in fact be one of the most important tools a company possesses.

It is estimated that approximately 29% of the world’s employees are working every day without any motivation whatsoever. According to a 2010 study, the cost of having and maintaining unmotivated staff costs business worldwide around $300 billion each year.

If you are among the many managers or business owners looking for more unconventional ways to motivate your staff, you are not alone. In this article I will explore some of the ways that you can accomplish those goals and build a brighter future for your workforce by thinking outside the box.

Small gestures of gratitude

Companies often make the mistake of thinking that in order to motivate employees there has to be a huge expensive convention or something of the sort. To the contrary, motivation sometimes comes from the simplest of things.

One great idea is to have lunch catered for your employees once every month or even once per week. If catering lunch is a little too much for the budget, turn to one of the least expensive meals of the day such as breakfast. An array of both healthy and non-healthy breakfast treats will not be a sizeable expense and the small gesture will simply let the employees know that they are a valued part of the company.

Breakfast is also a great idea because it will ensure that no one skips out on the most important meal of the day, giving them plenty of energy to accomplish their daily tasks!

A company-wide raffle

A raffle may sound like something that is only offered at county fairs or school fundraisers, but companies throughout the world are discovering that a raffle is a wonderful way to motivate their employees.

The raffle prizes do not have to be anything substantial – they can be as simple as a new tech-based device or even a specialty appliance – but if your company has the means for a little extravagance, they should invest the funds.

One company, Dialpad, has come up with a unique form of motivation in which the employees nominate who they believe should receive a trip of a lifetime. With the “See The World” programme, the nominated employee is able to go anywhere in the world on an all-expenses paid vacation, but the catch is that when they return they must give a presentation on how that experience reflects their own life.

The choice of which type of raffle you choose is entirely up to you and your company’s overall budget availability, but one idea to allow the programme to grow even more is to give your employees the opportunity to gain access to more entries.

This is not to say that you should allow your employees to purchase more entries as in traditional raffles; instead, have them buy in by means of tasks accomplished or goals met.

This adds a bit of extra competition into the mix which can be fun and motivating at the same time!

The gift of time

Often the success of a company hinges on the ability of its managers to lead their teams effectively. A manager that is able to effectively lead their team is often the one that makes themselves available to the staff.

Many directors and even managerial staff are rarely seen by the staff beneath them. This is not to say that the company head does not care, but simply that they are quite busy and not able to get away from their office throughout the day.

Time is very important and making the time to simply come by in person to motivate staff is a small and free gesture. When the employees see that the lead man or woman is interested in them, they will feel a connection with the company on a deeper level.

Too many managers and company heads lose sight of the fact that it is the staff beneath them that makes their work possible. They also forget that they were once just the lowly worker bee looking to move up in the world, so taking time to motivate the staff is never a gesture that will go unrewarded.

Signing off

Companies all over the world are looking for ways to motivate their staff in order to create an efficient work environment and ultimately increase revenue.

There are many tactics that can be utilised, but it is generally the unique attempts that create the best ROI.

When the company is able to look past data and spreadsheets and into the fact that the company is comprised of real people, motivation becomes more profitable.