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How to Motivate Employees on a Budget

How to Motivate Employees on a Budget

Liz Ryan / BusinessWeek

Pay in other ways

If a significant salary increase isn’t feasible, sometimes a nice chunk of résumé padding can be the next best thing. Offer your best employees a chance to join you in a high-visibility project with C-level participants. Offer a top performer a mentor, possibly the leader of another function with whom you’ve arranged a swap that has each of you mentoring one of the other’s high-potential team members. Give one of your employees the opportunity to lead a major initiative in your group. Doling out items of value doesn’t stop with the paycheck, but it does require careful planning to ensure that when you say “this assignment will boost your career,” it’s not an empty promise and doesn’t turn out to be more work than he can handle.