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Real Reason Employees Work:
36 Proven Ways To Motivate
by Arnold Sanow
If you still think money is the #1 motivator ... your wrong! Money is important,
someone doesn't like their job or the way they are treated, I don't care how
pay them, they still won't like it. In fact, in numerous surveys the #1
motivating factor to
get employees to perform at their best focuses on appreciation and recognition.
money is important to employees, what tends to motivate them to perform at
levels is the thoughtful, personal kind of recognition that signifies true
appreciation for a job well done.
best way to provide recognition and appreciation is through the use of rewards.
To make our rewards work, we must first follow certain basic guidelines:
Design rewards based on the individual's personal preferences. For
example to reward a workaholic with a day off could be seen by the employee as,
"What did I do wrong?" instead
of a show of appreciation as it was meant to be. To really understand what is
important to each employee it's essential to get to know each employee well and
find out what they think are important rewards.
Reward for achievement - Rewards should be based on what was actually done. For
example, if someone has given you an idea that has saved you money, that person
get a bigger reward versus someone who just did you a small favor.
Time your rewards. Rewards and recognition should be given as soon as possible
after the desired behavior. Reward and recognition that come long after the
achievement do little to motivate the employee.
help you provide the recognition, appreciation and rewards that truly motivate,
here are thirty-six inexpensive but effective ideas that you can use
thank you. This is so easy, but often overlooked.
pat on the back.
recognition in front of peers.
by wandering around (MBWA). Get out from behind your desk and see what your
employees are doing. It shows you care and are interested in what they do.
letter of praise from a customer or vendor shared directly with the employee
who delivered the service.
a wall of fame. A letter from a customer or vendor praising an employee,
posted on the company bulletin board.
to an employee who has an idea for improving efficiency or effectiveness and
then acting affirmatively on that suggestion.
your employee what non-monetary rewards they would like to have and, if
possible provide them.
training to employees. Offer them opportunities to improve themselves. For
example, one client of mine had me train all their employees in success
skills. This not only helped the company, but it was seen by the employees
that management really cared about them.
in coffee, donuts and snacks on a regular basis and also do it when it is
free lunches to employees when you seen them doing something above and
your talk. Lead by example: Do what you say you're going to do and keep all
employees in decisions that directly affect them. People have a need to
belong. Make them feel like they are an important part of your business.
them. Each day your goal should be to catch employees doing something right
so you can praise them. This makes them feel valuable and valued.
to your employees. There really is a reason that you have two ears and one
mouth. Listening tells you what employees need; it keeps you from making
mistakes with them; it wins their respect; it enables you to negotiate
successfully with them; it raises their self-esteem; it minimizes their
frustration and it communicates that you care.
your employees know they are VIPs too! Arrange discounts with local
theaters, restaurants, sports events or other things important to them. This
will not only motivate them, but they will tell everyone what a great place
they work for.
credit where credit is due. One of the best ways to achieve results is to
give credit to the appropriate employees.
out of your way to help employees. A little extra effort, some personal
inconvenience, goes a long way with subordinates in confirming the feeling
that what they are doing is important to you --- and that they are too.
family day. Encourage employees to bring in families to the see the office
or plant one afternoon. Follow up with a picnic. What you spend in half a
day's down-time will be rewarded many times over by family good will, and of
course, word of mouth.
paychecks go out, write a note on the envelope recognizing an employee's
employees to praise good work of their fellow employees.
an out-to-dinner program for employees. Award dinners for two for doing
something special like coming in on a day off or working through a break.
You could also provide dinners to employees who get praised by customers.
to lunch with each one of your employees on a quarterly basis. Ask the
question, "What do we need to do to keep you with us ?"
birthdays ... birthday card, cake or gift.
employees to your home for a special event and recognize them in front of
their spouses and co-workers.
employees rewards for customers they bring in.
rewards for great ideas. If it saves money or brings in business, give the
employee a percentage of the savings or profit.
sympathetic to personal problems.
regular meetings to let employees know what is going on in the company. It's
important that everyone feels they belong.
a pizza or a huge submarine sandwich for a communal lunch.
$10, $25 or more to a spouse with a thank-you note for his or her support
during the employee's overtime.
an employees rent for a month.
for the tutoring of an employee's child.
employees who recruit new workers a cash bonus.
are but a few of the strategies you can use. Remember, everyone is different and
what motivates one person may not motivate another. In fact, giving the same
reward to every member of the company - not only does not inspire employees to
excel, but it may actually damage performance as top achievers see no
acknowledgment of the exceptional job they have done.
Arnold Sanow, MBA,
CSP (certified speaking professional) delivers content driven, interactive and
entertaining keynotes, seminars, training programs, facilitations and
consulting. He works with his clients in assisting them in attracting customers,
keeping them through exceptional customer service, and in promoting a positive
and profitable environment. His programs focus on marketing, customer service,
communication, presentation skills, team and leadership development and business
strategies. He has delivered over 2,500 presentations, written 5 books, to
include, "Marketing Boot Camp", is an adjunct professor at Georgetown
University and the President of The Business Source, Inc. To promote
productivity, profits and a positive work environment.
Phone: 352-438-0261 E-mail:
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