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Q. I read with interest your last article about employee recognition. We've had a recognition program in place for a few years now, but we're still experiencing motivational problems. What would be the next step?

A: Keeping staff motivated presents an on-going challenge. However, given the crucial importance of a productive work force, it's a challenge that must be met.

An open dialogue is the first step. You should speak with your staff to discover what challenges they are facing. That plaque or certificate may have worked at one point, but like anything else, it can lose its impact over time. Perhaps your staff would respond more favorably to a gift certificate to some local store or a pizza party some Friday. The point is that diagnosing motivational problems requires open lines of communication. In a recent survey conducted by AppleOne, more than 75% of our respondents indicated that they were most strongly motivated by opportunities for growth and pride in a job well done. This is good news for employers since employee growth can provide a direct path to organizational and productive growth.

If you aren't currently offering tuition reimbursement or educational credits, now may be a good time to consider it. Continuing education, particularly through an accredited distance learning provider like California National University can provide the growth opportunities your employees are seeking without taking them away from their current rolls in the organization.

-Staffing Success

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