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Nov 30, 2006

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Incentives give the extra push to succeed

The Hare and the Hound, Aesop's fables

Employers often lament that their staff lack the initiative or
the drive at work. Upon a closer look, we realize that these are
well-educated, intelligent and experienced persons. Given the
opportunity, the same staff can work for another organization
and be an overnight hotshot. What is holding them back at the
current workplace is not something they lack, but something
the employer does not provide. There is a fire within all of us,
and a good employer will find ways to rekindle that fire.
Appropriate incentives can be strong motivating factors in
many situations.

Story:

The Hare and the Hound

The Hare and the Hound

(Illus by Arthur Rackham)


A Hound started a Hare from his lair, but after a long run, gave up
the chase. A goat-herd seeing him stop, mocked him, saying,
"The little one is the best runner of the two." The Hound replied,
"You do not see the difference between us: I was only running for
a dinner, but he for his life."

Moral:

Incentive spurs effort.

Kidding me:

Do everything as if it is the last thing you do in life. One day, you
will be right.

Funny Work or Get Fired office poster

Quotable Quotes:

“In every work a reward added makes the pleasure
twice as great.” ... Euripides

“Get to know your people. What they do well, what
they enjoy doing, what their weaknesses and strengths
are, and what they want and need to get from their job.”
... Robert Townsend

“If you don't understand what makes people tick,
they won't tick.” ... Robert Swan

“There are two things people want more than sex
and money – recognition and praise.” ... Mary Kay Ash

“Money isn't what motivates entrepreneurs; it is
acknowledgement.” ... Reuben Singh

“I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the
opportunity to do more.” ... Jonas Salk

[browse collection of quotes and quotations]

Lessons in life:

This is the rewards and incentives issue that we are always faced
with. In a typical corporate setup, you may have many employees
performing the same portfolio and even wearing the same
uniforms. However, each and every one of them has a different
agenda for sticking on to their jobs. Some may have families to
feed while others may be using the job as a stepping stone to
greater opportunities. A good employer has to understand the
motivational factors applicable to each employee before dishing
out the right rewards and incentives. When it comes to rewards,
there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Nevertheless, if you can
correctly identify the rewards that work for each individual, the
benefits you get can be enormous. You will be amazed at the
talents you have unveiled in your workers, and the potential
capabilities that each possesses. They will be motivated enough
to care for the company, and suggest initiatives to improve the
company's bottomline. At home, it is no different with the way
we motivate our children to put in more effort into their studies.
It is not true that every kid will love a Playstation 3 or a pack of
Pokemon cards. Sometimes, what pushes them to toil a little
harder may be simply more attention from their parents. A
school dropout may have his own reasons why he will not attend
school. Rather than punish kids whenever they are deviant, spend
more time understanding the root causes of their behaviour.
You may be able to find the motivating factor to spur them on to
go the extra mile, and unleash their hidden talents.

Related Articles:

Dreams, Goals, and Motivation
Value Ideas and Staff Suggestions
Higher Purpose and Job Satisfaction

Books worth reading:

In The 24-Carrot Manager: A Remarkable Story of How a
Leader Can Unleash Human Potential, Adrian Gostick and Chester
Elton present a story of how a great leader can create success in
even the worst economy. Providing strategies and solutions for
the managers of today, this book shows how dangling the right
carrots can improve employee commitment and profitability. In
it are examples of how to choose the right reward for each
employee, how to time the giving of a reward to motivate
performance, how to effectively present rewards, when to give
praise in private and when to make it a public celebration, and
how to motivate employees to work harder and work smarter
with the company's goals in mind.

If you are still unsure how you can reward employees, you may
check out this book by Bob Nelson, 1001 Ways to Reward
Employees, which reminds us how things that don't cost money,
such as praise and personal gestures, are the most effective
motivational tools.

© Business Fables and Management Lessons

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A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVES

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