Hello there,

This week, our HR tips topic is Motivation on a Shoe String.  Motivating employees can be a challenging task, and believe it or not, increasing salaries is not the solution! However, the good news is that it is possible to acknowledge and appreciate those who deserve it, without spending a fortune!

Retaining employees is a challenge today more than ever. Turnover is expensive and it can cost thousands of naira to replace an employee. For small businesses especially, the challenge is that budgets are often limited and there isn’t a lot of money available for reward programs, bonuses etc. So what can you do to keep your valued employees engaged?

First, hire the right people. It is better to leave a position open than to hire the wrong person. An

employee who isn’t a “fit” is disruptive to your business and makes it difficult for all your employees.

It has been proven that most organizations experience the highest level of turnover during the first 90 days of employment. So, it is important to ensure that a new employee starts off well. This can be achieved by putting in place a well developed orientation program.  You can also assign a “buddy” or mentor to a new employee to ease their transition into the company.


Let employees know from the very beginning of their employment, what is expected of them. Explain performance standards and make certain the job description is clear and comprehensive. At intervals, provide feedback on performance.


Training and development is an integral part of motivation. It is therefore very important to offer assistance and training to develop your workforce. Also because individuals are different, you need to know and understand your employees! Not everyone is motivated in the same way.


Keep employees informed of what’s going on in the company. Employees will not appreciate hearing what is new from customers or suppliers – they need to be the first to know. If possible, give it the personal touch and do not rely solely on e-mail.


Allow employees to participate in the planning and development of new projects, etc. whenever possible.It will give them a feeling of ‘ownership” and the incentive to do well.


Policies and procedures


Do not attempt to write a policy for every situation. Make certain your policies and procedures fit your organization. Flexibility with employees, particularly in a small company, is important.


Provide employees with the tools, equipment and supplies they need to get the job done. Provide a comfortable working environment. If the budget allows, provide refreshments and complimentary breakfast.


Finally, remember that what you do and what you say go a long way in motivating your employees. Be open and empowering and you will find the employee will respond and work hard to support the organization.

I do hope you find this piece useful!


Have a good weekend


Folashade Adehinle.