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Browne's Blog: Is it really all about the money, money, money?

Morgan Browne 2I often get asked what the best incentives an owner of a small business can offer its staff? On the surface money is the obvious answer. But it’s more than likely that larger competitors will be able to offer a more attractive salary than an ambitious start-up. But is a pay check the be all and end up for employees?

Getting your employees engaged is critical to moving your business forward and ensuring that everybody pulls in the right direction. The old adage of a happy worker being a productive one still rings true today.

But how can you ensure your team ‘buys in’ to your company? On the surface salary is often the main motivating factor. It’s true that money makes the world go around, but surprisingly it’s not often the main motivator for skilled workers. Salary may be one of the main factors for an individual when applying for a position. But when the monthly pay checks start rolling in, salary is overlooked compared to other motivating factors.

Various independent surveys have highlighted this. Factors such job security, having a clear training and development plan, and work/life balance have been found to play a bigger part than salary in getting staff engaged and working to their full capacity.

But what is the best strategy for small businesses looking to boost levels of productivity and to improve company culture? For me, it has to start at the top. To get people onside, small businesses owners must ensure that company culture is expressed at every opportunity. What are your key values? Do you staff portray these? Small businesses have enough challenges without trying to reign employees in.

If you can afford to invest in people over a prolonged period of time, you’ll find they will buy into your company’s journey. Providing things such job security, a development schedule, or even an hour off on a Friday afternoon will improve levels of loyalty, productivity, and engagement.

Get people onside and your small business will begin to see the benefits.

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