I used to be a Manager in the cable TV industry. The time was when I had an unending amount of electronic devices, clothes, cash bonuses, cash, etc., to use for sales and goodwill rewards. Offering prizes via contests, parties and raffles was a regular or even daily event. After a rather costly incentive program, I received “complaints” regarding the tax burden on cash rewards and the colour of a $200 Showtime leather jacket. The incentives were now obligations. The trinkets we utilized to motivate and stimulate had a temporary effect on sales and attitudes. The task fell to the management to continually devise more extensive and more effective incentive plans to “motivate” the employees. As in the words of Janet Jackson – “what have you done to help me this week”?
These years taught me about motivational employees. The majority of us would prefer to have self-motivated, self-directed teams who are proud of their work without resorting to any gimmicks to motivate employees. Here are five suggestions for effectively motivating employees
1. The focus should be on non-contingent communication.
They were interacting with others on a personal level. As an executive, your relationships with your team should not solely focus on work. Madeleine Hunter said, “people do not care about how much they are aware of until they realize that you truly care”. You don’t need to give out kisses and hugs every morning, but you shouldn’t be like the Vice-President I worked with. He did not leave his office and never met with his staff members during the period throughout the working day. If he tried to be a leader, it was of only a little impact since we didn’t have a relationship.
2. Don’t forget to break the rules of recognition.
One of my reps from sales asked me. What could I do to express gratitude for his efforts? He suggested an afternoon at the track and lunch. He said he would teach me how I could bet when I purchased lunch for him and took care of the driving. What I viewed as an intruder into my schedule turned into one of the most memorable “work” days I’ve experienced. We had a blast and had a chat about business and made our relationship go to the highest level.
3. Consider thinking cheap and about custom.
The old saying “it’s thinking that matters” is true and is effective. The ability to tailor or customize gift certificates, recognition gifts such as appreciation gifts, recognition rewards, etc., to fit the recipient’s needs is much more than the value of the present. The sales representative. Who was mentioned in Tip #2 was an older gentleman who did not require the cash bonus, watches or any other tangible acknowledgement. He just wanted my time. When I was left by my own ideas, this would have been the last thing I’d have thought of.
4. Be genuine and quick.
Research has shown that one of the most motivators for employees is receiving recognition for the work they have done. Credit via movie passes, thank you cards, gift certificates and so on are pretty useless on their own. Combine them with instant and genuine appreciation, and you’ve got the recipe for effective coaching. My first practice was to keep a stock of movie tickets that I would hand over to my Generation Y staff. They knew why they were receiving them and were happy with the recognition of their efforts.
5. Sharing information and energy.
Motivation is intrinsically based. It is impossible to force someone to perform something that is against their will. People are fired every day because they don’t achieve – in spite of months, weeks and years of efforts to “motivate” them. People are self-motivated when they feel valued and feel they have a voice in their workplace as well as their responsibilities and plans.