Money Isn’t Always the Answer for Employee Motivation

By: Jude Carter

You’ve heard that before, but maybe you weren’t listening. In flush times, it was always easiest to cut a check and reward high performance with cash. Once the economic meltdown hit, for many companies this was no longer an option. Now we have to be even more creative when motivating, engaging, retaining workers. Check this out from the McKinsey global survey:

When executives, managers and employees were asked which incentives did most to boost employee morale and productivity, here’s how they ranked:
· Praise and commendation from immediate manager (67%)
· Attention from leaders (63%)
· Opportunities to lead projects or task forces (62%)
· Performance-based cash bonuses (60%)
· Increased base pay (52%)
· Stock or stock options (35%)

Pretty compelling, yet it seems that one-on-one attention with a personal touch is very rare. Email and texting have made “communicating” simple, instant and oh so virtual. Technology has made it easy for people to hide out and avoid face-to-face time, whether it’s with employees, co-workers, or even friends.

Maybe it’s time to bring back the personal, handwritten note. You know, the kind where you actually think before you write, and you try your best to make your rusty handwriting legible. In a time when so few people make the effort to write notes, they have even more power to touch someone. And they reinforce the message that you care enough about the recipient to take the time to acknowledge them in a very personal way. (Even better if you mail it to them at home where they can share it with their families.)

What are you waiting for? Go buy some stamps and give it a try.

Jude Carter
July 8, 2010

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