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What Really Motivates Employees (Hint: It’s not carrots or sticks)

Source | LinkedIn : By Bernard Marr

Once you get the “right people on the bus,” (as taught to us by Jim Collins and his best-seller, Good to Great), a leader’s job is to keep them there by figuring out the elixir of intrinsic motivation. Despite overwhelming evidence that traditional methods including a carrot (reward) and stick (reprimand) approach is not effective, an incredible number of companies still waste time and energy on such methods. According to Paul Marciano, Ph.D. and author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of Respect, 40 years of research proves that not only does the traditional reward and recognition programs not work, they actually decrease overall morale.

In the U.S. workforce, 70% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work according to Gallup, so management teams are highly motivated to find ways to motivate their employees.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

It’s not ALL about pay, but it is about FAIR pay

If you don’t have a fair pay structure in place, you can kiss any aspirations of motivation good-bye. While increasing pay doesn’t necessarily equate to highly motivated employees, if the basics aren’t in place—fair pay and working conditions and job security—employees won’t be motivated no matter what you do.

Discover what motivates each individual

One size does not fit all when it comes to workplace motivation. As a company leader, take the time to get to know what’s important to each employee and mentor your management team to do that for each direct report. For one employee, getting to leave early for a job well done is a motivator but for another it’s simply a handshake with a genuine, “Thank you! Your contribution was essential to our success.”

Read On….

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