What motivation do your employees receive? We asked a group of young successful entrepreneurs to share their secrets. Here are their best answers:

  1. Believe in the people you hire. If you hire these people, you have to trust them. Executives always like to dig into the minutiae, but you can move faster if you give your employees the opportunity to complete their projects on their own without constant oversight. Don’t overestimate the cost of small failures. (Ryan Stephens of Ryan Stephens Marketing)
  2. Ask how they are doing and listen to their answers. The simple question of “how are you?” means so much. Employees will smile and say “okay,” or take the opportunity to talk about what’s bothering them. I had a job where my boss never asked me about it and I didn’t feel like he appreciated me. With such a simple question, you can show your employees that you hear them. (Nancy T. Nguyen of Sweet T)
  3. A concert ticket? As a bonus, I decided to give one of our employees a ticket to a concert that was to be held in our city. I believe that the unforgettable experiences that a person can get far exceed any monetary gifts. When this employee heard that she had got a ticket, she just beamed with happiness. She’s still doing a great job. (Greg Rollett of ProductPros)
  4. Demonstrate flexibility. Each person has his own rhythm of work. Some employees may work early in the morning, while others are productive at night. In addition to our mandatory 10-minute meeting in the morning, our employees can work when it is convenient hours for them, but on condition that they stipulate their schedule and complete everything on time. This freedom shows that we believe in our employees, and it gives amazing results. (Bavin Parikh of Magoosh)
  5. Too indifferent to school? Think again. Everyone wants to learn more and improve their skills, so for the happiness and motivation of your employees, you can give them the opportunity to learn. In this way, you will be able to retain your employees and show them that you care about their long-term personal and professional success. (Doreen Bloch of “Poshly”)
  6. Freedom of choice. In the startup world, it’s not just about hiring people for certain positions. Instead of determining what the new employee should do, let them act like your business partner. This allows people to focus their attention on what they are passionate about, while at the same time contributing to the work needed to grow the business (Matt Cevrant of Proof Branding)
  7. Light the lights on this staircase! Unlike large corporations, startups have the true ability and flexibility to empower their employees. They make them feel like they’re part of something big (because that’s what it really is). Every employee is very valuable because it influences the growth of the business. Let your employees know that they can grow with you as they help the company grow. (Justin Bigel of Infographic World)
  8. Individual awards. Startups, unlike large corporations, can ask their employees what kind of remuneration they would like to receive. Participation in the upcoming conference? A more flexible schedule? The latest iPhone? Your employees will be pleased to know that you care about their interests. And in return, you get a good job. (Caitlin McCabe of Real Bullets)
  9. They don’t call it “HappyHour.” Once a quarter, I invite everyone to lunch. After a second drink, people begin to feel less constrained, and may say things they would never say. It’s not a gimmick. It’s our system. Everyone knows what they have to say and I will listen to them. (Roger Bryan of & Associates)
  10. Transparency and collaboration. Every Monday we have a meeting to set goals and discuss the work schedule for the week. It’s not just a time to get information, it’s an opportunity for everyone to participate in all the projects. We give the whole team a chance to contribute. As a result, we get a strong corporate culture and product improvement. (Bobby Imemian, Prolific Interactive)
  11. Create entrepreneurs. Let your employees work on projects that they can choose for themselves. This will benefit the company. You’ll be able to quickly unleash the talents of your employees, find solutions to problems you didn’t even know existed, and improve staff morale. (Benjamin Leys, “Sweat EquiTees”)
  12. Promote when they deserve it. If someone has actually impressed you, help him/her move up the career ladder. If you show that you recognize the achievements and dedication of your employees, then in this way you will be able to retain talented personnel and make many just happy. (Heather Hamen, “Come Recommended”)
  13. Invest in not only business. I recently offered my employees $100 in cash to read a book I chose for them. This book was about entrepreneurship and productivity. I knew that if they read it, it would benefit them. They got money and a sense of self-worth, and I got smarter and more productive employees. (Lucas Sommer, “Audimated”)
  14. Social Events. There is nothing more enjoyable than a team meal or activity with a group of good people. You can get to know your employees better. The company is one big family, and when an employee feels this way, they look forward to coming to work. (Ashley Bodie, “Business Beware”)