Recently, Managing People at Work interviewed a motivational expert who said money has only a limited role in luring employees to do their best work. Dianne Durkin told us that doling out cash rewards or merchant gift cards to recognize a worker’s exceptional effort can serve a purpose. But it’s unwise to rely solely on sporadic cash giveaways as your motivational strategy.
Indeed, many staffers crave notoriety. They want to bask in the spotlight and hear you—and even their peers—publicly praise their contributions.
At University Title Co. in College Station, Texas, workers can nominate any of their colleagues when they observe an act of exceptional caring or customer service. This encourages the firm’s 55 employees to seek out examples of excellence in each other’s performance—and publicize them.
At monthly meetings led by Celia Goode-Haddock, the firm’s president and chief executive, employees who re-ceive nominations from peers for going beyond the call of duty receive a certificate commemorating their superior effort. The person who nominated the stellar employee also receives recognition.
“No money is involved,” Goode-Haddock says. “The real value comes from having everyone recognize each oth-er’s great work.”
Another powerful (and free) motivator is showering people with attention. When you make employees feel impor-tant and treat them as fully rounded individuals with families, hobbies and aspirations, they will feel more loyalty for you and your organization.