7 Unexpected Ways to Motivate Your Team

Whether you realize it or not, the people in your team are your businesses' most valuable asset. Keeping them motivated is considered a challenge for many employers. Granted, skill and ability are key aspects of whether an employee can do the work, but motivation is essential if you expect the maximum performance from your roster.

If you're committed to retaining the best people, you'll need to start thinking outside the box. It's time to up the ante and reward all the blood, sweat and tears benefiting your bottom line. Here are seven unique ways to motivate and reward your treasured team.

1. Leased cars for full time employees. It sounds like a whopper, but if the expense of operating a vehicle is a cost/budget friendly scenario, a company car will go a long way for your top earners.

2. Flying lessons. If airsickness is an issue, try a track day at a local speedway. Heart-pounding, adrenaline soaked diversions are an exciting way to get your team revved. Just make sure they're not racing those leased company cars.

3. Dry cleaning pick-up. Little things like having clothes picked-up or delivered can help busy sales people immensely. Plus, it's less expensive than buying your sales team a new wardrobe. Easy on the starch, though.

4. Hammocks in the lounge. Take a note from the likes of Google; team members who feel comfortable and relaxed in an office environment are more confident about their abilities and are more productive in the field. You might want to limit usage on this one. Nobody closes a deal while snoring in the breakroom.

5. Grocery shopping. Again, think small for big returns. Having someone in your office take care of small errands means your team focus on tasks–not what they need to pick up at the store once the day's over. A little goes a long way. Just keep the milk refrigerated.

6. Pet sitters. People love animals, you love your people. Plenty of "pet resorts" offer day-boarding for our four-legged friends. Some even offer corporate discounts. Besides, nobody likes the smell of cat litter under a desk.

7. Compensation for tai-chi, yoga, art classes, etc. Corporate discounts on gyms have become commonplace, but maybe what your team needs is a little relaxation at the end of the day, not a contest to see who can bench their own weight. Enroll your team in a tai-chi or yoga class for a little slice of life balance. Plus, they'll be less likely to fall asleep in that hammock at lunch. See, it's full-circle.

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