#Asia 7 things startup founders can do to keep employees motivated and productive


Great work-life balance, and the chance to make a difference, are key to motivating your employees

Businessman Running

Even if a startup starts with a bang, you will likely face tough times, when things aren’t so great, and the business isn’t doing as well as it could be. There are all kinds of reasons for this, from equipment breaking down to marketing campaigns not working. Whatever the reason, it is going to affect your employees, and they might start to become less and less motivated. As an employer, you need to get creative in finding ways to motivate your employees. Here are some ideas.

1. Give them personalised rewards

A lot of companies give out generic rewards that can be given to. While it is a nice gesture, it is not personal. You will get brownie points from your employees when you give them personalised gifts that are actually thought out. Find out what they like, and when they are performing well, reward them with these things.

For example, if an employee is into music, give them concert tickets. If they are food lovers, give them a gift certificate for dinner with someone special.

2. Treat them as important members of the team

Your business is your game, and your employees are your team. Make sure each team member has a reason to stay motivated. Give everyone a stake in the profits. Communicate with them regularly, and make sure that you are in sync, in terms of goals.

This is going to help your business grow. When employees feel like they are a part of things, they will work better to ensure success. This encourages them to change their habits and behaviour in order to be more productive.

Also Read: 4 smart tools for better team communication and collaboration

3. Give them flexibility

We all have a lot to do, between work and our personal and family lives. We often can’t find the time we need to be with family, enjoy hobbies, etc., because we are too busy working. Give your employees the flexibility they need, so they can live their lives to the fullest. Let them work from home, adjust hours for an easier schedule, and help them to get out of the office more.

4. Buy them lunch or dinner

Bring your employees something to eat once in a while. In addition to not taking time off to have lunch or dinner, there are several other great reasons to do this. First, when people are well-fed, they have more energy and they get more done. Also, they are going to see you as someone who cares about their well-being. If you take them out to eat, you have a great opportunity to simply relax and get to know your employees outside of the office environment.

5. Listen to their ideas

It may be that your employees have some pretty great ideas. You need to start listening to them. Look for ways to encourage employees to be more involved in every aspect of the business. You might even want to consider setting aside certain days each month to discuss team ideas and even implement some of them. If they need additional education or training to do their jobs better, help provide it.

6. Provide health and wellness benefits

In addition to traditional health benefits, many employers these days are offering health and wellness benefits. Offer wellness perks, such as gym memberships, in-house yoga classes, massages, nap areas, meditation classes and sessions, etc. When your employees are healthy, they are happier and more productive, so everyone wins.

Also Read: This wellness startup wants Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to go ‘Om’

7. Treat them to vacations

Don’t just give your employees vacation days. Give them actual vacations. Some employers find that this is a great way to motivate employees. Some companies go on outings together, but you can also opt to give each employee a certain amount of money, which they can only use for a vacation. There should only be three requirements: employees have to take a vacation; they have to forget about their work for a week; and they can’t do any work.


The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

Featured Image Copyright: melnyk58 / 123RF Stock Photo

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