Probably one of the most challenging aspects of managing/leading tech workers, is motivation and reward. As a manager you must learn what motivates each staff member and how to take those steps. I am curious as to others motivation techniques and reward system. How do you go about rewarding employees, and maintain fiscal awareness?

kklogic's picture

Motivation doesn't directly equate to money. It's a mistake too many people make. It's been my experience that when salary is the gripe of an employee, it's often because they aren't getting something else they need - recognition, feedback, etc.

Doing O3s, giving feedback, coaching etc. give you the tools to establish a relationship and find what drives your people. It may be money. It might not be.

Do you have a specific situation you were wondering about in regards to motivation?

dtm1968's picture

Thank you for your response. I am thinking less from a standpoint of cash, but more so from, what rewards/recoginition from a group or team perspective. What are items/etc, that say they are doing a good job, that their work is valued. Part of this question stems from a colleague who has a cube that is stocked with candy and cookies, and people take this as a sign that "he cares about his employees". Also, I was never one that responded to this type of motivation or reward, so I (wrongly) think others are not motivated by this as well.

Make sense?

bffranklin's picture
Training Badge

DTM, you may want to check out the podcasts on DISC. They speak a lot to what motivates different types of employees.

HMac's picture

[quote="dtm1968"]Also, I was never one that responded to this type of motivation or reward, so I (wrongly) think others are not motivated by this as well. Make sense?[/quote]

...only if everybody's just like you. Brandon's right - DISC is a great place to start.

There are lots of books and websites to provide you with ideas for employee motivation, recognition and rewards. But if you really want to come up with something that fits each person individually, here's a radical idea:

ASK 'em.
Suggest some ideas, see how they react.
Weave the discussion into your O3's.

Almost all of them will tell you exactly what they're looking for (and you'll be surprised how infrequently it's monetary).


bensimo's picture

Trying to motivate your employees is inappropriate because each of us have our own motivations and no outsider will every be able to clearly know them.

The question you need to ask is how do I as manager cause my employees to unleash their full potential of creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment on their work?

The answer is relatively simple. Show them that you respect them and care deeply for them thus leading them to treat their work with the same level of respect and care. What is the short answer on how to do this?

First, get rid of all traces of a top-down approach. Everyone wants to do a good job, but don't want to be ordered around like a robot. Top-down demeans, disrespects and demotivates employees by concentrating on direction. The best direction is the very least direction. Help is what they need, not direction.

Second, start treating employees with great respect and not like robots by listening to whatever they want to say when they want to say it and responding in a very respectful manner. Be aggressive by asking them one-on-one and in group meetings for their complaints, suggestions and questions. It is your responsibility to support your people with training, tools, discipline, procedures, material, information, direction, and the like. Find out from your people where your support needs improvement and then do it.

Responding respectfully means resolving their complaints and suggestions and answering their questions to their satisfaction as well as yours, but most importantly theirs. It also means providing them more than enough opportunity to voice their complaints, suggestions and questions. Hold regular meetings (at least weekly) just for this purpose.

The above would be a great start, great leadership on your part. They will follow.

If you would like more, don't hesitate to ask.

Best regards, Ben

timhuebsch's picture

I created a concept called My Day Monday which gives employees one day a month to focus on whatever they want to work on to help the team.  I just wrote a blog post ( on the topic and wanted to share to see if anyone else has tried something similar. It has worked great for my team.

Tim Huebsch


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Stop worrying about rewards and motivation unless y're giving regular positive feedback. Small, direct, targeted.

I'm not a fan of giving folks time to work on other stuff. It sounds nice, but theres work to be done. You're not as ATM of rewards, you're the company.


Sent from seat 6b, aa flight aa753, lga-DFW.