Motivate Your Best People and Not Break the Bank

Sections of this topic

    In an earlier post on employee motivation, I answered a manager’s question “How can I keep my employees motivated; I pay them decently?”

    Here are additional easy, inexpensive actions that managers can take that will bring smiles, good cheer and greater employee commitment to his or her job. These will motivate your best people and not break the bank.

    1. Visit a person in his or her office just to thank them for some specific contribution or post at thank-you note on his or her office door.
    2. Send an e-mail message to everyone in the group advising of a person’s personal contribution to the team’s accomplishment.
    3. Walk around with free lunch coupons and hand them out with a simple thank you for your commitment. I appreciate it.
    4. Organize a number of your group to take a specific staff member out for lunch on their birthday or arrange to send a card home signed by everyone on the team.
    5. Present a stuffed “Energizer bunny” to that group member who keeps going and going or a stuffed roadrunner to those who manage to complete a particular rush client project in record time.
    6. Present each new person joining the group with a specially printed T-shirt displaying their name above the name of the group and the firm.
    7. Initiate your own internal one-page monthly newsletter. Arrange a “Bravo” column to salute personal and professional activities or a “Good Tries” column to recognize and offer encouragement to those whose innovations did not achieve their full potential.
    8. Allow new people and staff to rent, from the local art gallery, a work of art of their choice for their office or work area.
    9. Create a Hall Of Fame wall with photos of outstanding achievements, both professional and personal.
    10. Create an annual report, yearbook, or photo album containing memorabilia and photographs of every group member along with their best achievements of the year.
    11. Buy a local billboard to celebrate a team’s accomplishments.
    12. Make a donation to their favorite charity in their name. Suggest that the charity send them, not you, a thank you recognition.
    13. Host a surprise picnic for the entire team in the parking lot or parking garage ..of course in good weather.
    14. Send flowers and a letter of appreciation to the family of a staff person who has to be away from home for an extended period of time.
    15. Give them a surprise for their work area – a new mouse pad, a poster, a desk organizer – something that will help them do their job better as well as say “Thank You.”

    Supervision Success Tip

    Sometimes a jelly doughnut or a handshake is as effective as a bonus. However, remember what is one person’s carrot is someone’ yucky orange vegetable. Do you know what motivates each of your employees?

    How well are you motivating your best people?

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?

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