How to Keep Your Staff Engaged During A Wage Freeze

business and career coach wage freeze

When business is booming, it is easy to keep your staff motivated through promotions and raises. Once you do a wage freeze, you have to find new ways to keep employees engaged. Feeling good about your job can be achieved through things like recognition and chances for growth. Showing employees you appreciate them and providing opportunities for them to grow does go a long way.

Find Out What Motivates Each Employee

When you have a wage freeze, you can use other ways to promote employee engagement. Each employee is motivated by different things. Some employees like to feel a part of a team. Other employees like to be recognized when they do a good job. Some feel good about taking on new challenges. If you can figure out what motivates each employee, you can focus on that.

Communicate Regularly

If your employees are expecting a raise or a holiday bonus, they will be very disappointed when they do not get one. One way to address this by being upfront and honest. Your employees will understand if a wage freeze is needed to keep the company afloat. Talk to each employee about the company’s goals and the employee’s short-term goals to turn things around. Recognize employee concerns and address them. Your goal is to make employees feel like they have a stake in the organization.

Recognize Employees

You can celebrate small success with a show of appreciation. Small tokens of appreciation like an employee lunch or a coffee card are valued. Competitive employees will also be motivated to achieve success if they see their co-workers recognized for good work.

If your company has a limited cash flow, there are other ways to recognize your employees. Instead of treating them to lunch, host a potluck where everyone can have fun and bring a dish. You can also reward employees with casual dress days when they reach major milestones or summer hours Fridays. The cost is minimal for the company, and it will help to motivate your employees.

Be Fair

If your employees have a wage freeze and board members still receive bonuses, that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of employees. People have a sense of fairness. If the boss continues to get wage increases, it will create bad feelings and very well could affect productivity which will cost the company. To motivate your employees and boost team morale, make sure there is a sense of fairness. This helps to create an atmosphere where everyone feels like they are in it together.

For employees in the workplace it’s important to know why and how do they fit in with the plan. Communicate regularly about the state of the business and solicit ideas from your employees. With a few tweaks, you can make sure that your employees are still motivated through difficult times.

As a general rule, keep your finger on the pulse and take the time to understand your employees and what drives them. Meeting with other managers  to brainstorm could help come up with creative ways to show your employees they are appreciated and to recognize their many contributions.