In a tight-fisted economy where employee perks are being hacked away to cut costs, managers are finding it harder and harder to motivate team members.


Money may make the world go round but research actually shows that it may not be the best motivator. Some studies have shown that, in fact, good old-fashioned competition may be the most effective way to spur your team on through tough times.


Employees crave acknowledgment, recognition and validation. Take the extra time to acknowledge hard work for an instant motivation boost.


Make sure the team understands the pivotal role they play in the organisation's success. Purpose can do wonders when it comes to inspiration.


Be the motivated, passionate team member. Set the right example but be careful not to overdo your excitement. Employees will see right through faked enthusiasm.


Be flexible. Making simple schedule changes to accommodate employees' needs works as a motivator.


Create friendly competitions with simple and low-cost rewards. A half-day, late morning start or better parking spot can all be sought after perks.


Host a social event. A successful business functions as a team and sometimes a lack of motivation can result from the team feeling like everyone is on their own. It will also encourage your employees to forge stronger bonds in and out of the workplace, building a real community.


Schedule regular staff meetings and one-on-one visits to learn of any issues or obstacles that could be slowing workflows.


Provide your team with the tools they need. Trying to work with a lack of supplies, outdated materials, etc. is a waste of time and extremely frustrating.


If you want the job done right, make sure they have what they need, when they need it. Encourage your staff to dress smartly. Studies show that putting on smart clothing boosts confidence and motivation.


Keep things fresh in the work place. Monotony kills motivation. Incorporate colour and vibrancy in the office and make sure the workspace is clean and comfortable.