today in black history

July 19, 2024

Writer and social critic Alice Dunbar Nelson was born in 1875 and helped shaped the Harlem Renaissance.

Motivation is free

POSTED: September 10, 2009, 3:51 pm

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Being able to motivate your employees or even your family is a valuable skill to develop. When people are motivated or invested, you can accomplish most anything together. Sales increase, projects are completed on time, people become creative, and are willing to give more of their time. At the end, when people feel connected, they feel like family, and they have something at stake.

Motivation requires that you understand the specific needs of your employees. It’s not enough to know that you need to get a job done and these people were hired to do so. People respond positively to incentives. If you are creative and listening to the needs of your employees, these incentives don’t have to cost much. is a company that helps employers to design best practices for making their employees feel valued and motivated. Many of these practices are free or low cost. Razor Suleman, CEO and founder of I Love rewards says, “It is important to remember that although the recession is hard on employers, it’s equally as hard on employees. Managers: recognition is free so genuinely recognize your employees weekly and show your appreciation.”

Here are some best practices for low cost ways to make employees and family feel valued and motivated.

Recognition IS free. Although it’s free, try to recognize employees at least once a week. Send a simple thank you; it goes a long way to show your appreciation. If you want to provide a gift or incentive, provide something that your employee truly wants or is of value to them, not necessarily what is easiest or cheapest for you.

Make your team feel like they are contributing to the success of the company. Solicit their opinion and advice on issues that matter.

Family life and concerns are important to many and can greatly affect their performance at work. Offering childcare, allowing working to be done from home, or “Early Fridays” during a slow period can make a world of difference.

Create a company culture employees can be comfortable in and be proud to be a part of. Some suggestions include a dress code that includes comfort, ease, flexibility, and in some cases, individuality. Recognize and celebrate top performers regularly, for example “Employee of the Month”. Retreats are a great idea, a luncheon, or a celebration event.

Sandra is a life and career coach in New York City. If you have questions or comment about motivation contact Sandra A. Daley at or visit her at If you liked this article, you might enjoy “Envy”

Motivation is free

“Motivation requires that you understand the specific needs of your employees.”

When you get hungry enough, you find yourself speaking Spanish pretty well. Josh Gibson

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