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While fair pay for work is important to employee satisfaction, it is not everything. Pay will become more important when employees are short of money or when they feel they are being unfairly treated. But money alone is not sufficient to motivate employees to do their best. Such things as pride in work, ability to help customers, and good social relationships in the workplace are important as well. Everyone is different when it comes to motivation, and employers can determine how best to motivate each employee by listening to them.

Helpful Tips

  • Here are some helpful tips on how to reward employees’ appropriately1:
  • Ask yourself how you would like to be thanked or rewarded for your work.
  • Ask your employees how they would like to be recognized or rewarded.
  • What is important to one person may not have any meaning for another. If possible allow for a choice of rewards so that the rewards can be more personal.
  • Consider the culture of the person: what is valued in one culture may not be in another.
  • Reward performance in a timely manner. Remember that what is rewarded will be repeated. Reward desired performance as soon as possible so that cause and effect is easily seen. Do the same with reprimands.
  • Make some of your rewards fun. Some companies use mascots that move from one person to another to honour outstanding positive actions.
  • You might consider some rewards that are comparable to cash. For example, gift certificates, contributions to favorite charities in the employee’s name – the investment can earn you a significant return.
  • Support their volunteer efforts. Most employees have favorite charities or volunteer organizations that do fundraising for the good of the community. Why not direct some of your charitable donations to those organizations? Some employers provide time off for their employees to participate in community organizations. The pay back for the employer is extra training for the employee and good will in both the community and the employee’s family.
  • Many rewards have no cost. Saying thank you is important. Recognizing an employee’s work in front of their peers can go a long way. Giving responsible employees more freedom to work, and more responsibility also respects their knowledge and abilities as well as their work ethic.

1 Managing Your Human Assets Module 6, p.1