This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.
My friend Bob Nelson, one of the world’s leading experts on employee recognition, offers several tips for keeping staff motivated.
Bob says many successful managers tell him that employee motivation is today’s key for improving staff productivity. The reasons are that (1) most budgets are under pressure, and (2) many departments have already gained major productivity increases from past investments in technology.
As a result, managers are looking to lift productivity through the greater efforts of their staff. One manager described the challenge this way: “Our goal is to make ourselves better as a unit without spending more money in this recession.”
This sort of view might sound manipulative, and we can’t discount the possibility that some managers exploit it cynically, but the fact is that workers gain much more satisfaction and are more productive when they are appreciated. Research has proven that workers usually gain more satisfaction from better recognition than from a rise in salary.
Here are 14 measures that you can take that will lift morale in your department. You can do these things if you are manager or supervisor of your area. In general, these measures connect staff morale to department successes. As a result, they return something to staff members who work better, faster and smarter.
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