If you dont have money, you need to get down to the real business of making people actually care about what they are working on.
The problem is thatif you run out of mone, people will go somewhere else for the same pay where they won't get as abused or ignored. Ive seen this happen over and over again when the economy or market turns, and the money for bonuses runs out. If the pay is equal, people choose not to be tortured.
The organizations with the most loyal employees have a strong culture of personal recognition. People don't work for money, they want their work to mean something. ****? you could link to 5 ways to make your team unhappy article
The trouble that organizations face is not that they are stingy with thank yous, its just that they dont have a way of knowing when good things happen. This is really easy to fix.
Spend time in each executive staff meeting on recognition. When someone deserves to be recognized, have an executive outside their organization go say thank you personally. And make a phone call or send a hand-written note yourself.
In these days a hand-written note is a work of art. It definitely stands out.
Surprise: I know the times in my career when a big executive outside of my business thanked me personally for something I did, it was incredibly motivating.
Notes: When I have sent hand-written notes to sales people that exceeded 150 percent of quota, I got phone calls from them thanking me for the notes
Its contagious: One time someone in my organization did something brilliant to simplify the product line. She got a huge personal thank you from the Manufacturing vice president, because it increased our margins. Not only was she on top of the world, but everyone in her group saw it happen and was motivated, too.
That one thank you made my whole organization feel like their work was noticed.
If you do have money, dont waste the opportunity to motivate, and set high expectations for continued great work in the future. This is a prime opportunity to give someone both a financial and personal reward.
Make it a significant conversation with significant appreciation and significant expectations attached.
The financial reward is great, but if you treat it personally, you will also engender genuine motivation and loyalty.