Motivate Your Meeting Staff

While managers believe that money is a top motivator, it really doesn't encourage employees to put forth their best efforts. Research tells us that pay will achieve two objectives: It will insure that employees will come to work and stay with your company. That is certainly a desirable outcome, but cash will not inspire the achievement of peak performance.

To get that, stick to the following rules:

1. Forget money and focus on stimulating internal motivation. That comes from giving employees something to be passionate about and building a positive working environment for your staff.

2. Tie rewards to performance, and be clear on precisely what behaviors you want to reward. If you want high performance, then your high performers should be rewarded differently from your low performers. If you value teamwork, then you must reward team players.

3. Personalize rewards to your staff members' individual preferences. Every employee has different needs and it's important to know what motivates them.

4. Make rewards a public event. Whenever possible recognize the team members in front of their colleagues. In fact, here are two practices you should always adhere to: Punish in private, and reward in public.

5. Reward your staff in a timely manner. A reward loses its impact if it occurs long after the recipient has achieved peak performance.

6. Be very clear about what is being rewarded or recognized. That level of specificity allows other team members to emulate the right behavior and increases the probability that similar actions will be repeated.

7. Get extra mileage out of your rewards and recognitions by becoming a storyteller. Telling stories about how "Sue" went the extra mile to ensure that the attendee's airport transfers were executed smoothly helps other staff members to internalize what is important.

8. Once a reward is received it becomes an expectation, so introduce lots of variety to keep the practice from turning stale.

9. Get employees involved. This rule saves you lots of time and increases your leadership effectiveness dramatically. Get in the habit of always pushing decisions down to the lowest level, especially when you are about to make a decision that directly impacts on employees' welfare.

10. Spread the wealth. Two common dilemmas staff leaders face is that those who do not receive a reward get jealous, or the same people get recognized all the time and the others give up. Your goal should be to reward as many of your staff members as possible. This will increase the likelihood that everyone will continue to strive for peak performance.

Dr. Wolf J. Rinke is a management consultant, executive coach, and keynote speaker. He can be reached at (800) 828-9653,[email protected]