Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Motivating People

I've learned that it takes a diverse set of actions to motivate a diverse group of people. I've also learned that an action repeated too frequently can lose its effect and morph into an entitlement. So one must try a variety of actions.

Here is a wide variety of ideas that may cover the spectrum of a diverse workforce.

  1. A hand written thank you note. I keep a few in my desk at all times.
  2. A private or public verbal “Thank you”.
  3. A strong well communicated vision which is in alignment with one’s actions.
  4. Prompt proactive communication, especially in times of turmoil.
  5. Communicating in a variety of formats: bulletin boards, meetings, e-mails, mailings, etc.
  6. Opportunities to bring family to the office: “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”, holiday parties, retirement parties, first aid training.
  7. Big prizes such as a vacation for the top producer of the year.
  8. Small prizes such as T-shirts, gift cards, coffee mugs, and paid time off.
  9. Learning each person’s strengths and interests, and creating opportunities for development.
  10. Creating opportunities to advance in a career.
  11. Deal with unsatisfactory performers promptly and fairly.
  12. Create a safe work environment. “Safe” means the prevention of injury, but it also means the prevention of retaliation. It should be safe for people to present a contrarian point of view to leadership.
  13. Care about your co-workers and demonstrate it.

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