CSD: Motivating Employees in a Challenging Economy
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an article from Convenience Store Decisions magazine.
Over the last few years, many employers have not had the funds for raises and bonuses. Employees are increasingly asked to do more with less — often with little thanks.
Fortunately, human resources expert Todd Patkin claims you don’t need a single dime to make your people happy at work or to show them just how much you care about them and appreciate their efforts.
"People will never admit it, but money is not the thing they desire most from their work. Instead, showing appreciation, respect, and, yes, even love are the three most important ways to make your people feel great about their work," said Mr. Patkin.
He offered five tips for employers to keep morale high without spending a cent:
1. Send encouraging notes. When you notice that an individual has done an excellent job or has achieved an important goal, send a specific handwritten note conveying your most sincere appreciation and admiration. This will take only one sheet of paper and five minutes out of your day, but it’ll make a lasting impression on your employee.
2. Distribute inspiration. Society tends to think of work as a place of drudgery, obligation and boredom. If you help them to see the world as a sunnier place and to improve their attitudes and ways of thinking about their entire lives, their professional and personal productivity will also increase.
3. Tell success stories. Even if they brush off praise, everybody loves to be recognized. When someone in your organization has done something great, tell them that you noticed their outstanding work and tell the rest of the team, too. Many employees feel that their leaders take them for granted and only point out their mistakes.
4. Identify stars. Recognizing stars is taking the concept behind telling success stories to the next level. Some team members will roll their eyes at "Employee of the Month" programs, but you can rest assured no one is going to turn down this honor.
5. Make it a family affair. Whenever possible, engage your employees’ families when praising them. Having a leader validate all the hours each team member spends at work will be remembered far longer than a bonus. Plus, when spouses and kids know what Mom or Dad does at work and are onboard with it, your employee’s performance will be buoyed by support from the ones he or she loves the most.
Discussion Questions: What are some of the most effective ways to motivate employees without money? Can you point to any unusual forms of motivation that you are aware of that have been most (or least) successful?