Friday, June 02, 2006

One Thing about Motivation

The one thing we know about motivation is that there's a lot we don't know about it.

A practice that motivates one employee will turn off others. A person who is saving for a home will give close attention to pay incentives whereas the individual with a paid off mortgage and grown children may be interested in a flexible schedule or in more challenging assignments.

The first step, however, is to stop the demotivating behavior. Lack of appreciation is a biggie. So too is lack of respect. If those are present, all of the positive actions will have difficulty getting through.

[I recall a construction company executive in Texas who used to reward good performance by handing the person a $100 bill. He told me that he'd done so one day and the man quit five minutes later. What he saw as a tangible form of recognition may have been regarded by others as demeaning.]

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