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Friday, May 26, 2023

Lean Quote: Recognition, Not Money, Is the Real Motivator

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.  —  Zig Ziglar   

Motivation is a core factor for a successful business and there have been many studies around it, yet there is no definitive answer or a one size fits all solution to motivation and employee engagement.

Leaders often miss the mark when trying to ramp up employee productivity. In a recent article several employee motivational myths are debunked:

  1. Many think money motivates but studies show that motivating with money is not effective because it is short lived. Receiving money is periodic in nature and therefore does not continuously motivate individuals.
  2. Keeping employees happy with perks at break time is also not effective since employees want a break. However, enjoyment at breaks does not support to improved performance.
  3. Some try to avoid conflict but this doesn't help anyone. It can result in dissatisfaction and discipline.
  4. There are those that believe some employees can never be motivated. This simply is not true. The reasons people are motivated do vary and the challenge for managers are to find what works for all employees
  5. Some believe that your achievers; those workers who quickly learn, adapt, and produce; don’t need motivation. All employees need motivation. If you don’t motivate those individuals than they will get bored.

It is recognition, not money, which is the real motivator in a down economy. The author David Javitch offers 10 quick ways to motivate your employees.

1.     Praise the employee for a job well done--or even partially well done.

2.     If an employee is bored, involve that individual in a discussion about ways to create a more satisfying career path, including promotions based on concrete outcomes.

3.     State your clear expectations for task accomplishment.

4.     Ensure that the job description involves a variety of tasks.

5.     Ensure that the employee sees that what she's doing impacts the whole process or task that others will also be part of.

6.     Make sure that the employee feels that what he/she is doing is meaningful.

7.     Provide feedback along the way, pointing out both positive and negative aspects.

8.     Allow for an appropriate amount of autonomy for the employee based on previous and anticipated accomplishment.

9.     Increase the depth and breadth of what the employee is currently doing.

10.  Provide the employee with adequate opportunity to succeed.

All of which are easy to do and cost nothing. What is missing and probably most important is the frequency with which we motivate people as the quote above highlights.

All you have to do to understand your company’s culture is to ask “What gets rewarded around here?” Because what get’s rewarded gets done. It is important for leaders to ensure their employees are not only working on the right things but that they do so productively. When motivating employees consider what you reward and how you reward it because employees want to be recognized for doing a good job

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