Ditch the Carrot and the Stick



How many times have we heard the motivational method of using a carrot and a stick? First of all, the proverbial stick was never a motivator and only caused fear in the workplace. Today, a long-term incentive of the carrot dangled in front of you only causes frustration and a quick loss of interest.

We are in an instant gratification age where fear drives employees away and frustration sets in quickly.

So how is the best way to motivate employees today? It’s not the carrot and the stick that is for sure.

Today’s employees expect to be involved. They aren’t looking for some future payoff, they want opportunity to prove themselves immediately, so they can demonstrate their skills and open up the career ladder right now. What’s not to like in this scenario?

Incorporate employees into solving problems. Anyone can be the complainer but asking them to also provide solutions to the problems they see engages them; provided they know you are sincerely going to listen to their ideas. This is an opportunity for that immediate win/win. The employee is engaged, offering solutions, being involved and the company benefits from improvements.

Take this to the next level. Do you have a prospect you want to land? Do you want to offer a new promotion for one of your products? Invite your employees to offer fresh ideas. Businesses will benefit from the influx of new methods and ideas in this every-changing economy. Obviously, not every new idea offered is going to be a winner, but getting the idea machine working and employees engaged will no doubt prove to be a huge benefit and motivation for those choosing to be involved.

The right employees in the right situation, when given the opportunity, will produce great results.