Cash Isn’t Always King

What do you think motivates employees? If your first answer was money, you are not alone.  It’s a common – but incorrect – response.  The primary motivation of people is recognition – not money.

Motivating employees without money is one of the topics I speak on regularly.  It’s also a major focus in my book “Common Things Uncommon Ways”.  As a result, when my husband, John Murphy was at a trade show in Chicago this week and learned about the Motivation Show, he emailed me the link.

Why would companies like Starwood, Honey Baked Foods, Wilson Sporting Goods, Vera Bradley and Sharp Electronics be exhibitors at the Motivation Show?  Because items like hotel getaways, a Honey Baked ham for Easter, new golf clubs, a designer laptop case or the latest electronic gadget all make great employee incentives.

Employees may think they are working for a paycheck, but in reality, they are working to improve their quality of life.  If you, as an employer, can offer other ways to provide an improved quality of life, that is usually more valuable than money.

Experiences and gifts, particularly those shared with loved ones, are remembered while cash is quickly spent and forgotten.  As families watch their budgets more carefully than ever, experiences from a dinner out to a family movie night to a weekend getaway become even more precious.

Tangible items such as golf clubs, a colorful laptop case or an electronic gadget serve as reminders of the recognition they represent each time they are earned.  Suddenly the below par game becomes the result of the new clubs the company gave you and the company gets some of the credit in the bragging on Monday morning.

If you want to learn more about engaging your employees, your customer and even your vendors to improve your bottom line, check out the Motivation Show.  All types of companies from Abbott Laboratories to Allstate Insurance to S & C Electric Company to Southwest Airlines to Target are already registered to attend.  What about you?

Effective motivation is about tying rewards to results.    Understanding motivation and making it an integral part of your business plan makes bottom line sense for your business.

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