About Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson, Ph.D., is president of Nelson Motivation Inc and a best-selling author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees (now in its 52nd printing), 1001 Ways to Energize Employees, The 1001 Rewards & Recognition Fieldbook, The Management Bible among others, and teaches organizational behavior at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. For more information or to register for Bob's FREE Tip of the Week visit www.nelson-motivation.com.
How To Motivate Part-Time Employees

Employee motivation.. It’s something all employers must focus on in order to get the most out their employees. For retail owners, whose employees are often part-time, the charge of motivating employees can be even more challenging. Part-time jobs attract a full range of workers —- from students to retirees to people who may just want to earn extra cash and may not see the position as a career. How do you get the most out of this diverse group of employees who work a limited number of hours each week?

How Does an Organization Change?

Most of us have a mental image of how an organization changes over time. For many of us it is a dated scenario in which top management emerges from a closed-door meeting with a new direction for the organization, which they announce to employees and which rolls down the organization like a waterfall with every person falling into line to adhere to the new marching orders.

Rewarding Employees from Afar

With the changing nature of work today, managers have to adapt to new circumstances for recognizing employee performance. Employees are increasingly more empowered to make decisions and the workplace itself is being redefined to include telecommuting, flexible working hours and job sharing. Many organizations are also moving to decentralized operations in which an employee’s manager may physically be located at a different facility or even a different state.

Bob Nelson on Recognition: Why Managers Dont Recognize Their Employees

Although the concept of positive reinforcement and the related principle that you get what you reward are well-founded in the psychology literature, the effective use of positive reinforcement by practicing managers is uneven and often totally lacking in day-to-day business operations. My Ph.D. study explored the conditions that enable or inhibit the use by managers of non-monetary recognition (NMR).

The Study

Effective and Memorable Award Presentations

A lot of otherwise exceptional recognition opportunities come undone at the point of delivery. Organizations devote time, money, and effort to recognizing employee achievement, yet when it comes to presenting the award, the potential to add meaning and impact goes unfulfilled. For example, a top engineer receives an achievement award for technical excellence, which is presented to him by the CEO at a quarterly managers’ luncheon.

Tap into Employees to Get Good Ideas

Today’s article discusses gathering and implementing suggestions from your employees. This can be a valuable tool, not only for the obvious benefit of having many heads at your disposal, but also because it lends to employees feeling valuable and appreciated. Read on and enjoy! Only 41 percent of surveyed employees believe the typical company listens to employees’ ideas.

The average American worker makes only one or two suggested per year; the average Japanese worker, however, submits hundreds of suggestions to his or her employer annually.

The CEO’s Role in Employee Motivation
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In most organizations, the CEO sets the tone for how people are treated. Are employees valued for what they do on a frequent, individual basis or are they treated in aggregate as a line item in the budget? Increasingly, the best CEOs are initiating actions that demonstrate their commitment to valuing their employees in a very hands-on manner.

Energizing Employees
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The world of work has changed – fundamentally and forever – and so too have the employees who work within it. It used to be that most employers were able to offer their employees guaranteed employment. In exchange, employees gave their loyalty, involvement, and commitment to the company. However, times have changed, and this simple exchange between employer and employee is a thing of the past. Not only is guaranteed employment gone, but so too is employee loyalty. Managers today need new ways to get employees to do their best.

Compensation Can Be Creative

As stores seek innovative ways to increase sales, compensation ideas have become creative as well. And, some of your best ideas might even come from the salespeople themselves. As you evaluate some of the options available to you, here are some points to keep in mind.

Involve employees

Selling Recognition to Top Management

For every recognition program there comes a time when you need to sell top management on the benefits of what you are doing — to gain the support and credibility that comes from top management endorsement. For some programs this is before you start; for others, it is to be able to continue or expand funding. Here are three ways you can influence top management in your organization about the importance of employee recognition:

Bottom line benefits

Recipe for Good Management: Allow Employees to Take Initiative

What makes a good manager? There are all sorts of definitions about management that attempt to describe what a manager does. Some of my favorites include “getting things done through others,” “being paid to make the difficult decisions,” and “protecting one’s people from the rest of the organization.” Yet I believe a better definition might be found in focusing on what a manager does NOT do. For example, a good manager does not solve employees’ problems for them, he does not ask his employees to do things he would not do himself, and he does not take credit for their ideas or work.

Informal Rewards

Believe it or not — while money is important to employees, it is not the top motivator. What tends to motivate them to perform, and to perform at higher levels, is the thoughtful, personal kind of recognition that signified true appreciation for a job well done. In fact, it’s the informal — that is, spontaneous — rewards and forms of recognition that can be implemented with minimal planning and effort by almost any manager that are the most rewarding.

There are a variety of informal rewards that can be used in any workplace. Here are a few for you to consider:

Leveraging Talent

In today’s increasingly complex business world, companies are seeking ways to make sure they have the talent they will need to compete now and in the future. Securing and retaining the right skills and competencies is fundamental to the growth and vitality of any organization.

Retention : Successful Strategies For Keeping Your Most Valued Employees

Retention issues are vital to the success of any organization. Companies devote tremendous resources to attracting and hiring good people, yet they must be just as diligent about retaining them. To do this, effective retention strategies must be created that are based on one common theme — enhancing employee loyalty. An organization earns loyalty by creating a positive working environment that is stimulating and emphasizes an employee’s personal growth. It is sustained through a culture that encourages motivation, energy, innovation, and that accommodates to an employee’s lifestyle.

Praising Up

After a presentation about the importance of praise and recognition at work today individuals often say something like: “These concepts are great-I wish I could get my manager to thank and appreciate me more!” To which we often reply, “When was the last time you praised your manager?” This often catches people by surprise, as if a manager doesn’t or shouldn’t need thanks or praise. Nothing could be further from the truth.