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Big corporations are much more flexible when it comes to employee productivity. Startup entrepreneurs, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury to employ non-productive individuals, because employee productivity is their company’s lifeblood in the first years of its development. Unmotivated and unsatisfied employees are easy to spot. They are nervous, edgy, less productive and they often skip work, for various reasons.

Both corporate enterprises and small startups use many different ways to increase their team’s productiveness. Many entrepreneurs deal with this problem by cracking the whip, shortening deadlines and encouraging longer work hours. These measures usually fail to provide the desired result, and they increase employees’ discontent and absenteeism. In this article, we’ve listed several innovative ideas for improving your employees’ motivation and keeping your team satisfied and productive.

Treat your employees like shareholders

Shareholders have invested money in your entrepreneurship projects, while employees invest their work and time on a daily basis. Since many entrepreneurs say that employees are their company’s most valuable asset, they should start treating them as such. The best way to start is to share more information about your business with employees. If your business is more transparent, it’ll be easier for them to identify with your company and to find their own interest in your company’s expansion. Employees like to know that they’ve made a difference and that’s why they need to see the exact impact of their work. If you want to go a step further, you can introduce an employee stock ownership plan and allow your employees to buy your company shares at discount prices.

Create a healthy work environment

Most employees spend a large part of their lives in their offices, and that’s why you should make these rooms more friendly, appealing and comfortable. This way, your employees will be more eager to come to work every day, and their productivity will steadily grow. Office spaces shouldn’t be cramped, and employees need to have enough room to stretch and walk. Equip your offices with top notch HVAC systems that will adjust the room temperature and humidity. Offices should also have lots of natural light, and you should replace harsh fluorescent lights with low voltage light bulbs that produce light that’s easier and more pleasant for the eye. Some companies introduce chill out zones to their office environment. These rooms are used during work breaks, and they are filled with comfortable furniture and stress-relief games and arcades.

Give them presents

Everybody likes free stuff. Giving gifts to your employees on a regular basis can drastically improve their satisfaction. When choosing gifts for your employees, try to find useful and durable products. Think about products that will solve some of their problems. Various promotional products can help employees to improve their performance. For example, if your employees spend a lot of time in public transport, you can equip them with Kindle e-book readers. This way, they’ll be able to use this time for reading and improving their knowledge and skills. You can also give out branded shirts to your employees when organizing team building activities and other similar events. These will serve as a reminder of a great time they’ve had.

Organize team building activities

Team building improves social relations in the office and makes workplaces more cohesive. They also help entrepreneurs to build rapport and synergy among groups of employees. Teamwork and problem-solving skills employees master on these events can help them to increase their productivity. There are several types of team building events. Some companies take their employees on weekend trips that usually involve some recreational activities. Camping, hiking, rafting and other outdoor activities are the most popular ones, but some employers also organize paintball or laser tag events, sports matches between company departments or theme parties. There are also many team building activities you can do in an office environment. These include various games and problem-solving situations where employees need to rely on each other.

In this article, we’ve focused on innovative ideas for motivating your employees. Corporate environment has its own mechanisms for improving performance and employee retention. Companies usually offer wide sets of incentives to their employees, which include: bonuses, raises, and promotions. These incentives can be very effective, but money is definitely not the most important criterion for employee motivation and productivity. A comfortable office environment, harmonious relations between colleagues and superiors, and lots of career advancement and training opportunities are the most important parameters for building a productive team of professionals, who support each other and love their job.