Small Business Information Center. Com

You need to "know" if you want to grow."
Articles and Information

Employee Motivation




Employee Motivation in Tough Economic Times

Employee motivation: 

employee motivationEmployee motivation is difficult in the very best of times, and can be a phenomenal problem when employees are demoralized by issues such as the inability of companies to reward employees with salary increases.  A fundamental principle in maintaining as high a level of employee motivation as possible, is to consistently show your appreciation for the outstanding work that they do.

In an article on employee motivation titled “Working Knowledge“, Topper (2004) concluded that times of economic constraint posed double trouble for administrators: not only do they face enormous financial pressures, but they also must find ways to maintain employee motivation and reduce the low morale which follows the financial circumstances.  While it’s always important to show your appreciation for the contributions that your employees make, in difficult financial times it is absolutely crucial that you find many ways to do so.

Employee motivation is not always maintained through the traditional mechanisms that many managers and employees believe are effective. Research has found that monetary rewards do not produce long-term performance and productivity results.  In fact, some studies have found that reward programs that only emphasize cash incentives, actually “de-motivate” staff by shifting the goal from a sense of accomplishment and contribution, to attaining the carrot of financial  reward. Some of the best ways to enhance employee motivation is to focus on the employee’s feelings of value and connection to the overall mission of the organization.  The following is a list of some ideas to help you to get started. 

Employee motivation through value and connection: 

- If you don’t know what kind of non-monetary rewards employees might like, ask them: What would make your job better?  What kinds of incentives are important to you?  It may seem obvious, but there is no one better to answer key questions about things to improve employee motivation than the employees themselves. 

- Don’t forget to say “thank you” when your staff put forth an extra effort on the job, and be sure to carry this practice over in staff meetings, by adding time to the agenda to issue thanks for employee competence.  Out of 67 potential rewards for doing a good job, employees have ranked personal congratulations from the manager as number one, and a written note from the boss came in second according to a survey reported on the Foundation for Enterprise Development web site. 

- Create an employee motivation program with departmental awards for exceptional work, perhaps with an emphasis on customer service. 

- Make a “thanks for your help” box, and ask the staff to drop-in the names of fellow employees who go beyond the call of duty; and you might even hold monthly drawings for a small gift. 

- Celebrate the completion of major projects with special treats or coffee breaks. 

- Employee motivation may also be enhanced through the acknowledge of the anniversary date of each employee, either with a paper or electronic card. 

Employee motivation will always be enhanced when an administrator engages everyone in the mission of the organization, and generates a shared vision for success. 

By Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate President/CEO  Susic Psychological Consulting P.C.



From our Advertisers

Copyright © 2004 Susic Psychological Consulting P.C.. All rights reserved.