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How to keep your employees engaged without spending money.

CTCT Employee

How to keep your employees engaged without spending money.

No $$$?  No problem!!

How to keep your employees engaged without spending money.


by:  Caitlin Roy, Colleen Hanrahan, Sue LaChance, Dennis Nations


The slow climb back out of the economic doldrums has impacted more than just the housing market and gas prices.  Well-intentioned business owners who had previously been willing to spend a few dollars to help motivate their employees have had to cut back.  Now more than ever employees need that pat on the back or encouragement that comes from more than a paycheck.


Here at Constant Contact we’ve seen a lot of creative (and mostly free) ways to motivate employees.  These are just some of the ideas we’ve heard…


  • Say “thank you.”  Yes, it’s simple.  It also goes a long way when it’s sincere.
  • The gift of time.  Even if it strains the business a bit, sometimes an afternoon or day off (that doesn’t count against vacation time) can add a great lift to morale.
  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?  Ask your employees this question…then let them do just that thing for one whole day.
  • Rock me baby!  If you play music in your office or store, let your employees select the music…make them DJ for the day.
  • Favorite Things List.  Ask your employees for a list of their favorite things (candy, sandwich, breakfast beverage, etc.).  Surprise them by giving them spot treats from the list.
  • Gold stars!!  Remember when you were a kid, and you got a gold star for a good job?  Do that for your employees – write some words of praise on a gold star and leave it in their jacket, on their desk or even in their paycheck envelope.
  • Trade perks.  Seek out other small businesses in your community.  Offer to trade perks with them and provide those perks to your employees.  (i.e. a local yoga studio and a boutique clothing store trade discounts on private lessons and clothing).


Most importantly, ask your employees what non-monetary rewards would motivate them.  Listen to and write down their answers.  Be sure to do those things.  Your only investment may be some of your time and attention – small prices to pay for the boost your employees will get from your efforts.


What ideas can you share for motivating your employees without spending any money?  Leave your responses below.

Trusted Contributor

Re: How to keep your employees engaged without spending money.

Thanks for the post and for all the perks you afford us - sometimes it's honestly just the "Thank you" that goes the furthest.

Rosalind Morville