It’s Not About the Money! 15 Non Financial Ways to Engage Your Team

Tired to trying to get your team to engage? Try these 15 non financial ways to engage your team.

The statistics are depressing:

• A January 2016 Gallup daily tracking survey showed that only 32% of workers are engaged.

• Only 49% of employees would recommend their current employer to a friend! (Glassdoor Data Labs, December 2015.)

A Deloitte University Press article stated 87% of companies cited culture and engagement as one of their top challenges.

What does this mean for you? Simple – likely you’re only getting a fraction of what your team is capable of producing.

Download your FREE copy of Build a Business Not a Job!

Here are 15 ways to engage and motivate your team that have nothing to do with money.

1. Great work environment: Do people like the feeling and atmosphere of your office? Do they feel good when they are at work? After all, they are spending 8+ hours a day there, give them an work environment that brings out their best.

2. Greater autonomy: This is a huge motivator for your team – letting them earn the ability to self-manage and to do things their way. After all, it’s likely one of the strongest drives that compelled you to start your own business to begin with so why shouldn’t it be as compelling to your team?

3. Greater responsibility: Your team will see that when they earn greater responsibility they are growing professionally. It’s a sign that you trust them more, and that they are creating more value for the company. This is a powerful intoxicant for top producers. Of course if you give them greater responsibility you need to give them the authority to meet those responsibilities too.

4. Share information: Bringing a team member into the “inside” where you share key information with them is a clear signal that you value and trust them. On a lessor scale, even just sharing more mundane information with your team in an organized and regular way is a motivator as it keeps employees in the “know”. It’s a sign that you respect them. Often this motivator is employed in its opposite—by not sharing information – and the destructive, demotivating message of distrust and disrespect that sends.

5. Flexibility of schedule: Where possible, can you let your team schedule work around family commitments? Or give them the ability to feel in control of their own calendar? Obviously the job has to get done, and the nature of the work and your business will put some constraints there, but within those constraints you have a lot of room to be flexible. This costs you nothing, and can mean the world to your team. It can also be something they have to earn (as well it should.)

6. Work remotely (all or part time): This is one of the highest valued perks my team likes with Maui Mastermind. Not only does it cost you nothing, but likely it will reduce your costs as you have the need for less space in your office. Yes you have to work harder to improve communication and workflow, but this can spark you to increase quality and volume of output by your team.

7. Ask and value their input—honor their voice: When was the last time you asked for a team member’s opinion? Or confided in them asking for their help to solve a thorny issue? Asking your team for input on how to solve problems or to improve the company is a great way to engage your workforce. If you do this, make sure you are serious and not just paying lip service to their ideas. Your staff can smell insincerity a mile away.

8. Cool work: Is the work your team does inherently challenging and absorbing? Do you have the ability to hand off cool projects to your key team?

9. Feeling of growth: Do you have a plan in place to help your staff learn and grow? This can be as simple as taking time each quarter to give your team feedback and help them map out a plan of action to grow professionally. You do this with your managers and encourage your managers to do this with their teams.

10. Let them bring pets into work: From my experience, it is a great reward to bring a pet in to work versus the stress of finding a way to care for them while they are at work.

11. Let them bring their kids in to work (or work home to their kids): If you can swing the onsite day care, that can be a huge perk for your people. Obviously most small businesses can’t afford this. But this can also be letting them bring a child in who has an afternoon off at school, or perhaps letting them work from home (mentioned above) if they have a sick kid. It can also having a contract with a local babysitter service and rewarding your core team with x days of sitting for when they need it during the work day.

12. Aspirational—a path forward: Help your team map out a career with your company, not just a job. The clearer you paint that future picture with them the more committed they will be to doing great work and enhancing their capabilities to fit in with the future you paint for them.

13. A mission to be part of: Does your team move boxes or move the world? Do they feel connected to a higher calling with your business? At Maui Mastermind we “coach business owners” to grow their companies and reduce its reliance on them the owner. But our team all feel part of a company that changes lives – of our clients, of their staffs, of their vendors, of their customers, and of the families of all of these groups. We share stories of client’s success. We start or end many meetings with reminders that we’re not here to coach a business, but to bring the humanity back into building a business. (Yes you can grow your business and get your life back! You can build a company that gives opportunities and security to a growing team of employees.)

14. Relationship—a personal connection: Be willing to forge deep personal connections with your team. Take the time to get to know them and their lives. Share about yours. I know that many business owners (myself included) hold ourselves back for fear of drama or awkward moments, but in general, we error too often on isolating ourselves from our teams. So take a team member out to lunch, organize a social event, ask them how their son is doing is school, and truly be open to connecting in an authentic way.

15. Identity—how they see themselves: The team at Zappos see themselves in a special way. It’s clear to me every time I order from them over the phone. The more you can get your team to identify with your company, to see their work with you as part of who they are, the more committed they will be and the happier they’ll be working with you. So help shape how your team see themselves.

If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.

Business David is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestselling author of 11 business and financial books. A syndicated columnist for and, David’s articles have appeared in over 6,500 publications. As the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind®, David has worked with 100,000+ business coaching clients and community members to buy, build, and sell over $5 billion of businesses.