1. Defend or refute the statement that salary alone not a motivator?

I disagree on this statement due to the fact that we not only live for material things. Yes, money will give short term satisfaction or happiness but the effect of getting instant great or sincere appreciation, praises and recognition will live forever in our hearts and in our mind and no one can ever take that away from us.

2. After reading Nelson's top ten ways to motivate today's employees list, identify five suggestions from that list that would be effective strategies to use to motivate you as an employee. Explain.

Listed below are the 5 strategies I chose from Mr. Nelson's article that I considered will greatly motivate me:

1. Personally thank employees for doing a good job--one on one--verbally, in writing or both. Do it in a timely manner, often and sincerely.

I personally believe that sincerely thanking employees either verbally or in writing is a great medium in motivating employees. I consider this as food for our soul. It is a form of vitamins that gives me more strength daily. This is how I live by in the workplace I am in right now. I may not be earning as much as others are, but getting instant verbal recognition motivates me on doing my job better everyday. Simple word of praise motivates me.

2. Give people a chance to grow and learn new skills. Show them how you can help them meet their goals within the context of meeting the organization's goals. Create a partnership with each employee.

Living is a learning process as well as our jobs. I think everyone of us has that knowledge and great talent within us that needs to be discovered. Giving people an ample space to grow and discover what their capabilities are, is a great motivation the will uplift employees self-esteem. Setting up a meeting is one way of showing concern to all the employees and offering help to be able to achieve company’s goal will trigger good relationship and will create partnership within the organization. Giving me a chance to learn and explore what other capabilities I can do motivates me.

3. Strive to create a work environment that is open, trusting and fun. Encourage new ideas and initiative.

I always wanted to have something to look forward to everyday and one of them is going to work and face the different challenges that await me. Since I work as a graphics artist/designer, it is very important for me to be trusted and have freedom on expressing my ideas. I consider a working environment as open, trusting and fun if they believe in employee’s capabilities and are always supported by constructive criticism if there are things that need to be corrected. It is very important to be honest to the employees but you have to make sure that you say it in a way that people will see it as not a weakness but rather a pathway to improvement or adding more to what they know or what they have already learned. Honest constructive criticism motivates.

4. Provide employees with a sense of ownership in their work and the work environment.

I am defining this technique or strategy as letting your employees make a choice or suggestions on what they think will make a great impact or difference in their work place. Delegating responsibilities so as for them to be involved and take ownership on what project was given to them. It always motivates me when my boss is asking my suggestions and ideas that will make the designs more appealing to the customers.

5. Recognize, reward and promote people based on their performance. Deal with low and marginal performers so they either improve or leave.

I do believe in giving promotion to those people who truly deserved it. Do not let days, months or years pass by without recognizing employee’s hard work. Give them the value they deserved for if you missed this opportunity, you might lose a very important or most talented person working for you. This is the main reason why I left my previous job that I have worked for 10 years. I was waiting for so many years to get the promotion that everybody thinks I truly deserved. Instead, the company hired a family friend of the owner. The newly hired only lasted for six months and forced to hire 3 people to do the same responsibilities. I was offered to go back and work for them again but I declined. Obviously, promotion motivates me.

3. From the "Getting Happy with the Rewards King" article, do you agree with Bob Nelson’s position that “while money is important to employees, thoughtful recognition motivates them to perform at higher levels?” Contrast Nelson’s perspective with that of Alfie Kohn in the "For Best Results, Forget the Bonus" article where he argues that rewards don’t work.

Yes, I agree with Mr. Nelson. Money isn’t everything. The following are cited in the article that I considered very vital to be able to reach better results from the employees:

• Positive reinforcement. To be able to get good results from the employees, managers should set a good example. He should play as a role model of the workplace.
• Rewarding Employees daily. It is true that sincere word of thanks from the right person at the right time can mean more rather than giving the material rewards that will not last long.

As for Mr. Kohn’s article, I also agree on some issues that he mentioned in his article.

The 3 C’s:

• Choice – He mentioned that workers should always participate and be involved in making decisions on what they are trying to accomplish. This is showing how valuable you are in the workplace.
• Collaboration – To be able to successfully tackle the task, members should be able to work as a team, meaning, their aim of getting a successful results should always be intact and not thinking of individual gain but the success of the group.
• Content – He refer this as the job’s task itself. I considered this as giving employees a project that will challenge them followed by giving them trust and confidence that they can successfully accomplish the project.

In my conclusion, both writers have pointed out very important issues that we can apply in a workplace. These are all guidelines that could lead us to a better managers and leaders or even better individuals.

4. Intuit is cited as among the Fortune's Best Companies (#33 on the 2007 list, up from #78 in 2004) to work for because they have a corporate culture that is always focused on employee recognition. Go to the Intuit website and review their rewards program for employees . In light of our readings on rewards, what is your assessment of the Intuit rewards culture?

I couldn’t find the link for this article.

5. How does your organization stack up with respect to creative and fun work environments with respect to reward systems?

We currently have the Employee of the Month award. To be able to be considered as a winner, one should follow the following rules implemented by management:

1. No absences and tardy.
2. Get along with other people.
3. Be willing to help others when in need.

It sounds very easy but I do not remember ever seeing someone receiving this award. I think the company lacks encouragement. I would suggest that to be able for others to follow, one should set a good example, and that should be coming from the top management. No one seems to be interested in getting this award because people from the top management are the first one breaking the rules.

There is actually one personal motivation that everybody seems to be enjoying. Whoever loses more weight will win $850.00. I considered this as personal gain and not a motivation. Probably after the contest, they will start gaining weight again.

6. In your experience, is employee recognition a scarce commodity in organizations? Why is that so?

Yes. Most companies are focusing on giving recognition occasionally. An employee must do something extra ordinary to be able for them to be recognized. One good example is a salesman who exceeded his sales quota. We all know that many companies had long been practicing giving a plaque of appreciation. Another good example is winning a project bids. I remember attending a company big dinner for winning a multi-million project. Doing a good job is not only the basis of giving recognition. There are other instances where you can always say good words to boost employee’s morale. There was a factory worker in our company who started working in our department. I always see him in one corner doing his job and not saying any single word. It looks like his afraid of talking to anyone in the department. One day, I saw him wearing professional attire and I recognize it by saying “You look really good today”. He smiled at me and said “thank you”. The next morning, he started talking to me and giving me some ideas on what he’s working on. To make the long story short, he opens up and had the courage to express his self. Simple as saying sincere good words helps people to feel better and I considered that as a good motivation.

7. What is the most important lesson you took away from these readings and discussion?

I learned that simple words can make a lot of difference. It is the best medium to convince people in making the right decision but it can also result to an unpleasant failure. Giving recognitions by saying good words like “thank you, “good job” are powerful words that can make a great impact on how people in the company will face the challenges that awaits them everyday I will never ran out of good words to say. I always keep in mind that if I do not have anything good to say to a person, I’ll keep it to myself or say it in a way that people will see it as a challenge not a problem. Use good words ---- get great results. I believe in the power of “words”.

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