How to motivate staff

wazoku Blog

How do you motivate your staff?  How do you keep your employees engaged? If you do a search for “ How to motivate employees” you’ll get a long list of articles written by HR professionals, social scientists, employee engagement specialist et al.


The common theme that resonates through nearly all these articles on employee motivation is recognition.  Nearly all of these articles state that employees are motivated by feedback from senior management, recognition from company executives, applause, praise etc.

Great, so are you going to rush out and buy a giant employee of the month plaque? If you’re running a fast food chain then go for it.

What are your options?

Innovation Management is essentially an advanced employee suggestion box.  Innovation software tools are about capturing ideas from as many places as possible.  The goal is to make these ideas visible to the entire organisation.  Ideas are no longer fed into a black hole of a suggestion box, they don’t sit in someone’s inbox to be ignored.

The idea and the creator of the idea have a stage.  The idea is then voted on by the organisation, everyone has a say.  Idea Management tools help the organisation vet the ideas; this way the good ideas make it through.

The nice secondary benefit is that people are recognised for their contributions, everyone can see who and where the winning idea came from.  Employee feedback tools like this allow employees to be creative, it allows employees from diverse roles have their say.

Why should you bother?

Not recognising your employees might be costing you more then you know.  Here are some interesting statistics:

  • The lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the US economy $370 BILLION annually. (Gallup)
  • In February, June, and October of 2010, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number fired or discharged. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

If you think can throw money at the problem, and engage and motivate employees by throwing money at the situation… think again.

How do you engage and motivate your employees? What motivates you?