Motivated and well-trained employees who care about their work product are the keys to success in any business. An investment in employee motivation will pay divideds in terms of productivity and longevity of employment, which leads to more experienced workers who feel more successful. (Inc.com) It is important to empower employees to be innovative and to solve problems creatively (Strauss).
Everyone has something that motivates them. Primary school teachers know this. (Anderman & Midgely, 1999). Withholding recess from an anti-social child probably will not encourage her to do her homework. However, giving the same student one-on-one attention for good work might be the right motivation to keep her on the right track.
Employers, too, must recognize that different people are motivated by different things. One employee might be motivated by praise while another is motivated by materialistic compensation. A smart manager will recognize the differences in motivation factors and will find ways to address them on multiple levels and using a wide variety of motivational tools. This requires spending the time to discover each worker's values, priorities and hopes for the future (Inc.com).
Extrinsic motivation can come in many forms, including the most basic, money. Salaries, bonuses and promotions aren't the only way to provide extrinsic motivation to employees. Non-cash rewards such as movie tickets, lottery tickets, company products, luncheons and time off from work can have an effect, too, and often at less cost. Gifts thoughtfully tailored to a specific employee carry the most meaning. The main thing is for employees to feel appreciated. They need to feel like they are an asset to the business (Lee, 2005).
Public praise and in-house awards are low-cost (or no-cost) ways to provide extrinsic motivation that may stimulate productivity (Strauss). The recipient of the award or the praise will feel a sense...