Tough Talks Book Series

How Do You Motivate Employees During Tough Times?

Is the economy rebounding? Who knows? One source says it is returning to normal. And then the numbers prove otherwise. In any case, the need to motivate employees in these tough times continues. Do you have examples of your company’s motivation efforts?  If so, I’d like to hear them.

Gary Hall of Cattron Theimeg Inc. wrote:

“With all the layoffs and furloughs that are taking place due to business conditions, the employees are being left to bare the burden. Too many companies these days take employees for granted. I like to send people home unexpectedly with pay, even if is just a few hours. (Especially on) a nice Friday afternoon. I do this for hourly as well as salaried employees. The unexpected action is the key.”

Michael Young of Clearfield, Utah added:

“The company I worked for during my college years had a great way of recognizing call-center employees who went the extra mile. They converted an empty office into the Snack Shack, which contained a leather couch, a big screen TV, and a microwave, as well as other festive island decorations. Employees could be awarded a trip to the Snack Shack for having a manager overhear them doing something extra on a call.

“The usual 15-minute break was extended to 22 minutes so that the employee could watch an episode of a half-hour show. (The company provided a variety of these on DVD.)  In the Snack Shack, they could choose one snack to eat while watching the show. These ranged from popcorn to chips to Hot Pockets®.

“As a manager, I found my employees often striving to go the extra mile, so that they could enjoy their next break in style.”

Aaron Wandtke of Executive Staffing Solutions commented:

“The need for recognition never disappears. It is just not realized nearly as often (as it should be). As I see opportunities, I will send handwritten letters to the spouses, significant others or parents of my staff. My goal is to show my sincere appreciation for the employee (and) also show my appreciation for the (person) who supports the employee and encourages them to do a good job and keep their head up.”

John Care, of Mastering Technical Sales, also noted that he felt it to be important to acknowledge the sacrifices that families have to make.

“One of my better managers, Robb, had to spend a lot of time traveling. He was a good family man. I found out his wife’s name and sent her a letter (about) about how much I valued her husband and his leadership. As a family man myself I knew the drain that traveling could take on home life. I enclosed a gift certificate for a local movie theater—enough to cover the family plus food for everyone. His wife loved it and sent me a nice letter back. Robb came to work the following Monday with a big smile on his face.”

This entry was posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations, Motivating people. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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