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.
- A hand written thank you note. I keep a few in my desk at all times.
- A private or public verbal “Thank you”.
- A strong well communicated vision which is in alignment with one’s actions.
- Prompt proactive communication, especially in times of turmoil.
- Communicating in a variety of formats: bulletin boards, meetings, e-mails, mailings, etc.
- Opportunities to bring family to the office: “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”, holiday parties, retirement parties, first aid training.
- Big prizes such as a vacation for the top producer of the year.
- Small prizes such as T-shirts, gift cards, coffee mugs, and paid time off.
- Learning each person’s strengths and interests, and creating opportunities for development.
- Creating opportunities to advance in a career.
- Deal with unsatisfactory performers promptly and fairly.
- 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.
- Care about your co-workers and demonstrate it.