A lot of companies have downsized their organizations during the current challenging economic times. This means that individuals who are fortunate enough to still have a job are taking on the workload of those who have left the company. Or they are facing reduced budgets that hamper efforts.
While it's great to have a job, it becomes overwhelmingly difficult to stay focused on your job and doing more in the same period of time. In many cases, it's also difficult to stay motivated because of the increased workload.
There are hundreds of ways to help motivate people. For example: awards, recognition, and a manager just saying thank you verbally or with a note are vital. A half day or a few hours off or a holiday gift card can also work wonders.
My favorite ways for companies to keep employees motivated is by acknowledging individual or group contributions for the benefit of the organization and by working in the community. In one case, I just finished the 12th year of judging the Avnet Marketing and Communications Awards (MAC Awards).
Marketing and communications professionals from around the world and in all our division competed to see who would win the top award in 30 categories such as ads, public relations, social media, and trade shows. Our employees are not only motivated to develop the best marketing or communications campaigns, but they also learn from each other. Every year, the quality of the submitted work gets better and better.
Another example at Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) is our expanded individual and group efforts in the communities we serve. Our "Dollars for Doers" program is a great way Avnet will donate funds directly to a 501c3 charity in support of our folks who work on their board or can prove X number of hours in support of their charity of choice.
The point is that companies that reward and acknowledge individuals and work groups for their achievements help their employees stay motivated. In addition, the sharing of ideas and best-practices will produce better results for the company.
Doing positive things for organizations that need help are a win, win, win for the charity, employees, and our brand. What are you or your company doing to keep employees motivated?