True or false: The more you pay people to work, the less they feel obligated to look for another job.
Studies have shown that this is both true and false. If you pay your people well, there’s a good chance they will stay. The question then becomes:
Do you want them to stay?
The answer is not as easy as you might think. If they are a productive worker that compliments your culture and whose behavior contributes positively to your bottom line, then yes you want them to stay.
However, if they are a constant or near-constant complainer, if they take their dark cloud wherever they go and if they dampen the spirits of everyone they interact with, then no you don’t want to keep them. They will not be satisfied with their salary, no matter how much you pay them. They will also be among the first to leave for the day, take longer lunches and do the very minimum amount of work. Are they really worth their salary?
Not everyone is motivated by money. You can ‘pay’ your staff in ways other than raising their salary. Some ways are:
- give them time off, whether it’s extra hours here and there or half days. if you surprise them by letting them go early to attend one of their children’s activities, that’s an added bonus
- give them a $5 – $25 gift card to their favorite coffee house, restaurant, dessert place, bookstore, hobby shop — any location that you know they frequent.
- write a handwritten note [NOT on company stationery] thanking them and place it on their desk. you can also send it to their home.
Lastly, treat them as a person – one with thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams just like you. Take an interest in their work, their family, their outside activities. And then listen – really listen – and ask questions to show your interest.
Let me know other ways you can inspire, motivate and empower your staff.