How can I motivate without a budget?

Show me da money!!

If we aren’t careful, we buy into the malarkey that says we can’t motivate without dinero. Hard cash. Moolah. Wampum.

It just ain’t so.

Money has its place. Zig Ziglar was fond of saying that “AnyonNoMoneyJPGe who says money doesn’t matter… well, they’ll lie about other things as well.” It does matter. It doesn’t motivate. Except in rare instances of some sales compensation or specific activities fully controllable by the employee. Rare instances.

The rest of the time–it’s all you. So, what to do then? How do I do the motivation-stuff? Simple–use your leadership skills and lead.

Some simple tips to consider…

  • Be honest and become really trustworthy. Do what you say you’ll do.
  • Remember always: You are not responsible for a person’s happiness.
  • Give praise promptly and specifically when it is due.
  • Root out poor management; it’s a huge drain on staff morale, adversely affecting business performance.
  • Address poor/non-performance quickly, fairly and unemotionally.
  • Give your team flexibility, and the room to do their work. Not many people work better with micro-management…
  • Create a compelling, energizing vision of your future.
  • Send handwritten notes. Thank yous, Birthdays, Company Anniversaries, or simply for motivation and/or encouragement.
  • Remind people that you — their leader — are there, and there for them.

 Don’t complicate this stuff. It really is this easy.

Be Brazen.




  1. says

    Great reminder that it is a leader’s responsibility to create the environment that is motivating. Leaders are part of the environment. Reducing barriers and acknowledging action and results come from the time budget not financial budget.

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