Motivating Employees to Work

October 23, 2013

I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t hear stories about employers, both good and bad. The difference is that in the old days, when times were hard and employment was scarce, people did everything they could to hold onto their jobs.

Today, it’s a different story. Unemployment is high. Times are hard. The economy is unstable, and pension plans are no longer guaranteed to be there when the workers retire. So, what has changed?

For one thing, more employees are quitting their jobs without the prospect of a new job waiting for them. For another thing, more employees are getting accustomed to collecting unemployment checks as their primary income.

But the one thing that I keep hearing over and over from employees at all levels who have quit their job or getting ready to quit their job, is how they feel unappreciated and undervalued by their boss.

Being a boss is not the glamorous job that employees imagine it to be. There are tough decisions to be made, costs to consider, and a whole host of things that make bosses unpopular with their employees. But, still, there are employers who are loved and respected and keep their employees motivated to work. So, how do they do it?

There are little ways that don’t cost much to motivate people to work harder. One of the companies that has been very successful uses competition and rewards. They sell high-end sound systems and every month they have a contest for the employee who has sold the most equipment that month.

They give a small cash prize to the winner, but most of all, that employee’s name goes up on a huge board in gold lettering, with the words, Employee of the Month. Every quarter, the boss treats the employee who has made the most money for the company, to a week’s paid vacation cruise to someplace nice.

Other bosses take their employees out to lunch once a month or once a quarter instead of sending them off on an expensive vacation or giving them a bonus or pay raise.

Believe it or not, given the choice, most employees prefer to be taken to a nice restaurant and break bread with their boss than having the cash. It makes them feel appreciated and valued and they are motivated to work that much harder for their boss.

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