Best ways to motivate your staff in a startup without monetary involvement

Motivated employees are a key to success of a startup since most of them are service oriented or have more human capital intensive. This will help the company to achieve their ideas more easily and will help in their retention.

I researched on the topic and created these five major categories (RIDAR) to keep staff motivated, I am discussing the same in detail below:



  • Treat everyone as an individual
  • Be flexible and responsive to their personal situations
  • Create a no-blame culture
  • Give every employee a role and job title they can be proud of
  • Be fair to all — don’t give some preferential treatment


  • Set realistic expectations and interact regularly
  • Listen to staff and welcome their contributions
  • Ask staff to share their skills and train others
  • Have regular get-togethers


  • Give constructive feedback and tell your staff ways to improve their skills
  • Give you staff independence to use their initiative
  • Give opportunity to develop their skills
  • Give employees more responsibility and the chance to lead
  • Make sure employees can see a rewarding career path in your business


  • Say “thank you” to staff for the contribution they are making
  • Seize the moment to appreciate your staff members and praising them
  • Offer your support and help the staff member reduce his workload in case he is overloaded or stressed


  • Celebrating their birthdays and offering time off
  • Offer flexibility of time which will help your staff achieve a good work-life balance

A 2009 McKinsey Quarterly survey found that three non-cash motivators — praise from immediate managers, attention from the top managers, and a chance to lead projects — were just as or more effective motivators than cash bonuses, a pay rise or stock options.

So trust me it’s not always the money that is more important.

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