365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money

by Dianna Podmoroff
Atlantic Publishing Company, 288 pages, $16.47

Looking for inexpensive ways to reward your employees and keep them engaged and happy? Here are scores of novel suggestions for improving morale and increasing productivity. 365 Ways... is a great tool to have in your kit if you are a manager trying to build a challenging, gratifying work environment. It offers more than a cursory look at what motivates various professionals by delving into both the ways and whys of boosting morale and creating meaningful incentives.

The first half of the book examines motivation and the second half lists 322 ways to motivate including the foundation for managers to create their own methods. "Many of us look to marry our personal meaning and purpose with our professional lives, and, thus, our job becomes a main source of satisfaction or dissatisfaction," writes Podmoroff. When employees cannot have higher needs for recognition met, they resort to meeting lower needs and often become complacent and unmotivated. 365 Ways... illuminates the causes for dissatisfaction and suggests long–term strategies that shun the quick–fix, band–aid approach.

The book's breakthrough comes when it examines rewards programs from the employees' perspective. The author shares her personal experience where an employer offers free transportation to and from work as a perk. Initially, Podmoroff believes this is a great reward for employees, until she considers it from the employees' point of view and realizes the message it sends is "You don't pay us enough to afford and insure a car, so how else are we supposed to get to work?"

The author includes studies and surveys to help supervisors uncover their employees' motivators, then advises on how to make recognition programs fit with findings. Initially, some of the ways to motivate may seem farfetched (like having senior management wash employees' cars), but they are designed to break out of the box of tried and true, vanilla methods of rewarding.

365 Ways... stresses that inspiring is a year–round experience that begins with daily interaction. Managers ready to put themselves in their employees' shoes and make a dramatic impact on morale will welcome these techniques, take them, and develop their own unique rewards.

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