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Motivation: 5 Strategies that Work

If your company’s most strategic effort to motivate employees is monetary, you may be missing the mark.

There is an unfortunate lie being spread in corporate America.  The lie goes like this…all employees are incentivized with monetary rewards.  This is a widely held belief amongst business owners and corporations, despite previous research disputing its effect to promote motivation.  Going as far back as the 1940s, psychologists and experts in organizational development discovered monetary rewards are not the most effective tool for motivation.  On the contrary, motivating employees with money stifles creativity and innovation. What if traditional rewards are not effective?

Motivation, either intrinsic or extrinsic, is related to intensity, direction, and persistence.  Every motivational plan you implement must recognize these basic principles.  If you are paying employees a fair, just wage, then monetary rewards are not necessarily appropriate or beneficial to your organizational goals or your employee’s professional growth.  Here are a few idea to help motivate your employees in a sincere, genuine way:

  1. Offer training opportunities:  Gather information during annual reviews or by using a brief survey to capture your employee’s professional and personal interests.  There are various training opportunities available at affordable costs, thus costs and expensive should not be a barrier.  Training geared toward an employee’s desires promotes trust which in turn motivates the employee on a deeper level.
  2. Write Handwritten Notes:  The next time you notice an employee has accomplished a task, or went above and beyond, or exceeded expectations, write a hand written note to show your appreciation.  Hand written notes with a sincere, detailed message go a long way to motivate employees.
  3. Assign “interesting” projects: Consider ways to give employees the ability to contribute in a creative way to your company.  Solicit ideas that are innovative or improve processes and assign the project to willing employees.  Promoting creative thought instills and reinforces principles that motivate employees in a significant way.
  4. Set Goals as a team for your company: As a manager or owner of a company, you have set organizational goals.  Consider giving your employees an opportunity to collaborate with your team to set goals and deadlines.  Research indicates motivation increases when employees are part of the process that sets deadlines and specifies work standards.
  5. STAY consistent:  No matter what program or system you consider to motivate your team, you must stay consistent and follow-up regularly to validate your honest intention to motivate your staff and value their efforts.

Motivational strategies do not have to be expensive and do not have to be monetary rewards.  Evaluate your staff, your organizational goals, and work hard to provide opportunities for people to grow.  Show your team you are committed to their success and growth just as much as you are committed to success of the organization.

If you are interested in developing a strategic motivational plan for your company, please contact us.

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