How can I keep my staff motivated when management says there won't be raises for the foreseeable future?
We know that people are motivated by the "M" word – but fortunately that doesn't always mean money. According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School, you can energize your staff with a trio of "M" words: mastery, membership, and meaning.
First, there's mastery. Help people develop abilities that can enhance their grasp of their various jobs and duties. This might involve encouraging them to tackle new challenges at work, for example. If your budget allows, it could also mean assisting them in learning new skills at a local college, or via online courses.
Second, there's membership. Create a community by encouraging staff to get to know and respect one another more through regular gatherings. During those times, honor them individually and collectively. For instance, you might thank one person for accomplishing a given task, or laud the team for meeting a particular challenge. This fosters a sense of working together toward a common goal.
Finally, there's meaning. Stress the positive impact that your staff's work, no matter how mundane, has on others, from customers to management to their own families. By helping your staff develop themselves, recognize their contributions to the team, and realize their work has meaning, you'll keep them motivated in a way that money can't match.