How to Keep your Employees Happy Without a Raise

Any good manager’s aim, among others, should be to keep employee satisfaction levels high. While you want to make your employees feel valued and happy at work, budget constraints can limit your options. So how else can you make sure your colleagues know you respect them and the work they do?




Employee Engagement

The concept of engagement is at the centre of the matter. Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel valuable to their employer, resulting in mutual respect and a harmonious working relationship. According to Forbes, a significant 80% of employees surveyed felt that engagement was their top priority in work satisfaction. Approaching employee relationships in a friendly, sociable manner goes a long way. Know what’s going on in their lives, the names of their wives and children, ask about their weekends. They’re small points, but it's important to show employees that they matter, and that they aren’t just there to serve your needs and go home again.

Additionally, this engagement needs to extend to employee job roles and the company goals. Remember the old saying, if you like what you do, you never need work a day in your life. Professional and reliable employees won't take advantage of a more sociable working environment.


Effective leadership must follow on from engagement. Mutual respect between you and your employees extends to a respect for your managerial authority and decisions. Involving others in decision making and keeping everybody informed helps reciprocate this esteem. Good leadership is the key to achieving engagement; it is your responsibility to build your team in a complimentary way. Recognise where one person’s strength could remedy another’s weakness and vice versa. Acknowledge the potential you have among your employees, and devise the most effective ways of harvesting it.


The best way to lose workers is to make them feel stuck on the bottom rung, with no hope of ever going further. Ambition is a great driver, and will keep employees on their toes with reason to work hard.


Not having the capacity to award raises or bonuses to your employees should not be the end of the matter. There are other ways of demonstrating your appreciation for people’s hard work that works as incentives to raise morale. For example, offering flexi-time makes it known that you are an open-minded and considerate employer. Role rotation allows for employees to understand the prospects and opportunities available to them. Flexibility and acceptance are key.

Achieving employee engagement is not just about money. It takes some work and planning, but trying out combinations of methods can make a vital difference to employee morale. Listening, understanding, developing, and goal setting are all important techniques. It is unfortunate that not enough companies invest in engagement strategy resources, especially with the clear merits. It should be a top consideration for your company.