Challenge in HR


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I have asked this question on

Linkedin and here are some great responses–

On 09/15/11 2:39 AM, Lisa Nofzinger wrote:
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What one of my former employers did was to let us have two casual days per week, and throw lots of parties. Praise and thanks go a long way as well.
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On 09/15/11 2:44 AM, Cyril Danthi wrote:
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Recognize the efforts made by the employees by having some criteria put in place and award certificates. Assure them that they are valuable to the organisation.
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On 09/15/11 2:50 AM, Christiaan Pol wrote:
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Hi Lalit,

I think you should challenge your employees. Give them a problem and let them find the solution for it. The variation in their activities will motivate your employees to do a better job. The benefits for you and your company are good solutions you wouldn’t think of on your one and they will do a better job in their current activities.
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On 09/15/11 3:21 AM, Christine Hueber wrote:
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Inspire them by having them do work they enjoy.
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On 09/15/11 4:14 AM, Jeffrey Driver wrote:
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Hi Lalit,

If you can’t afford raises, see if you can at least organise events, such as taking them out for a meal or drinks once a quarter or something.

Also, praise will go a long way. let them know they’re appreciated and be understanding about personal circumstances, so if they need some flexible working hours let them have it. If you can’t offer better wages than other companies you can at least give them a working environment they enjoy.
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On 09/15/11 4:41 AM, Kirsten Mortensen wrote:
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Praise, parties etc. are very important because these are ways to deliver immediate gratification — the things that can turn a day from bad or ho-hum into pleasant.

But IMO you should also pair this with some sort of strategy based on deferred gratification as well.

One way to do the latter is to engage employees in a way that allows them to directly contribute to the business’ success — and share in its fruits. Let them contribute ideas on how to cut costs, become more efficient, or find new business, and then set up an incentive program so that if their ideas work, they *do* get “raises” or bonuses of some kind.

Particularly in this economy, employees will appreciate this very much; they’ll see it as a fair trade off for not getting raises; and you’ll be more likely to keep them, because they will feel more invested in the company’s success.
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On 09/15/11 4:45 AM, Henri Vanroelen wrote:
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make your company a great place to work at, that people enjoy comming to.
BR
Henri V
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On 09/15/11 4:52 AM, Pat McGraw wrote:
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Find out what your employees value – casual days, work from home, recognition, socializing, etc. Have them make the list and establish the criteria for awarding these awards.

This is a great opportunity to create a fun work culture.
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On 09/15/11 4:56 AM, Karen Usher wrote:
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With great leadership . . .
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On 09/15/11 5:20 AM, Allen Laudenslager wrote:
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I used to bring Krispy Kreme donuts every few weeks. It’s the little things that show your appreciation. Yes, they’d still rather have the raise but recognition runs a close second!
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On 09/15/11 5:28 AM, Angelos Karageorgiou wrote:
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I will go with Mr Laudenslager proposal , just don’t overdo it so it gets silly!
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On 09/15/11 6:10 AM, John Scranton wrote:
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Recognition!
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On 09/15/11 6:21 AM, Guy Battaglia wrote:
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You would have to clarify ‘why’ you can’t give them a raise?
Is the rent too high?
Is business slow?
Are you having a difficult time with cash flow?
Are there lay offs in the future?

By understanding why you can’t afford might be the best motivator in the world.

Job security and financial increases can be leveraged against the growth and prosperity of the environment.
Maybe with out the 80’s Montage, but, when the need and and focus eventually find themselves at the same place, motivated people are the most amazing people of them all.

Good luck
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On 09/15/11 7:02 AM, Erica Friedman wrote:
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Don’t spend money on parties and lunches, when you’re saying you can’t afford raises.

Give them Time. Up their vacation, give them ad hoc paid days off that they can use when they want.

Only two rewards have any meaning, Time and Money. If you can’t give one, give the other, without condition.
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On 09/15/11 7:14 AM, Rajita Shetty wrote:
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I agree with Guy!! Employees will always appreciate honesty and not pseudo promises of pay hike and promotions. I believe that if you honestly speak about your situation and the reasons why pay hikes are not possible.. employees with the best interest of the company in their minds will understand. However, this shouldn’t be a reason at all times, else you will lose credibility. Highlight how each one is contributing to the growth of the company. It is also important that you share your company goals with your employees and your expectations from them..and make sure that these goals are realised in that time frame. This will foster trust and commitment. Employees will respect a leader who respects every employee starting from the lowest rung.. there are a lot of factors that goes into engaging an employee to the company…This will be a testing time to filter the best out of the superficial ones.
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On 09/15/11 8:58 AM, David Grossman wrote:
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Ask employees what brings them into work each day, and then see if their managers can give them a little bit more of whatever their answers are.

The answers will be unique to each individual.

They may not be the same as the way their managers would answer.

But they are invaluable information.
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On 09/15/11 9:05 AM, Brijendra Chaudhary wrote:
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– Recognition
– More Leaves
– Change upward designation
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On 09/15/11 9:07 AM, Tom Kearney wrote:
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1. Let one employee go and divide up his/her salary amongst the others. Of course they all would have to chip in and do extra work.

2. If they’re already making top dollar for their industry, it may not be a matter of ‘affording’ as much as their already making the prevailing wage.

3. If they still aren’t motivated to do their job, then the employer could tell them that they too aren’t motivated to write their paycheck. It slices both ways and there are plenty of unemployed – ready, willing and able candidates to jump at their position.

4. If an employer CAN’T give a raise, then it may be the company is punishing the employees for their own inability to CAN’T make more sales. In this case, it’s the employer who is not doing their job, and coming up with a much better business plan.

5. Let both the employer and all the employees address the bigger issue. It’s rarely motivation that’s the problem – it’s sales and profits.
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On 09/15/11 9:38 AM, Ken Solomon, CPA wrote:
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Praise and public recognition.

Little benefits like lunch, company t-shirts, and movie tickets.
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On 09/15/11 9:55 AM, Kelly Snyderman wrote:
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It completely depends on their behavioral style!

Some individuals want a simple “Thank you” or “I really appreciate your work”. This goes a long way for them.

Others are motivated by constantly being given responsibility, opportunities to learn and high expectations for their deliverables!

According to Daniel Pink, money is not the motivator we once thought it was. These internal motivators are more powerful than external rewards.
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On 09/15/11 10:00 AM, Dr. Laura Umfer wrote:
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Everything you can. More time off. Let them come late, leave early. Let them have flexibility with their schedules. Spoil them in any way that doesn’t hurt productivity. reinforce their good work. That never happens enough anywhere, and it does make a difference and costs nothing.
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On 09/15/11 11:23 AM, Fang Lu wrote:
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It is a costly mistake to get lost in the false theory that more money equals happy employees.
Believing this is costing you valuable time, revenue, employees…and even threatening your own job. Cash will always be a major factor in motivating people and a solid compensation plan is critical to attracting and keeping key personnel. But the key is that additional cash is not always the only answer and in many cases not even the best answer.
Too many bonus or commission checks get cashed, spent and forgotten just that quickly. Grocery stores and gasoline stations are among the necessary stops that
seem to get in the way of using your extra cash on something special for you.
One alternative to giving commissions or bonus dollars is to give gifts through a catalog point system.
The company you choose will provide you with catalogs, price sheets and point checks at no charge. The structure for your bonus plan can remain the same but instead of awarding cash to your employees you award equivalent points. Those points may then be used to purchase an enormous variety of gifts or travel plans from the catalog.
The stimulation involved is long-lasting. It begins with the employee being able to browse the catalog choosing what they will strive to earn. The catalog acts as a tangible reminder of their goal. The gift itself will last as evidence of their achievements.
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On 09/15/11 11:35 AM, Karl Moore wrote:
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there are several ways in which you can motivate your employees which the concept of the cash reward. One easy solution would be to create an employee of the month style programme, have an announcement and a small prize for the employee who has the best production rate or sales record. try to create some friendly competition, give praise to those that have done good jobs, or have improved on previous weeks.

A great way to improve motivation is to improve the work place environment, people will always work better in an environment they feel comfortable in. So try to ensure that the office is clean, smells nice, is well lit. but also try to improve co-worker interaction, have times when people can get together during break and talk and get to know each other, try to create some kind of comradery. Have special days like casual Friday or days where you offer different foods for lunch. try to make the work place feel like home.

Rather than offering cash rewards, why not try to reward with development, offer training in different jobs, allow your employees the chance to improve their skills and make them feel like their careers have some kind of progression.

The best thing you can do is to make them feel important, praise them for a job well done.
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On 09/15/11 1:10 PM, Tony Bustamante wrote:
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Ultimately, an employee’s satisfaction is derived from the work they do (an internal factor) and less with salary and pay grades (an external factor). If you have unhappy employees, consider re-aligning their work roles to better fit their competencies; and be sure to provide them with regular feedback — especially positive feedback, when possible.
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On 09/15/11 2:21 PM, Eric Kline wrote:
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Don’t count on a raise (money) to be the best motivator.
Many people are motivated by recognition/advancement, accomplishment, even by the satisfaction of doing something for others.
A raise can be a more expensive motivator than is needed, and potentially less potent than expected.

Eric Kline also recommends these expert(s) on this topic:
Bruce Nagy
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On 09/15/11 5:08 PM, Lisa Larter wrote:
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When I think of motivation, I think short term happiness. When I think about inspiration, I think about long term happiness.

One of the best books I ever read about happiness at work and inspiring individuals was Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh at Zappos.

Money does not buy happiness, it also does not inspire someone long term. We all have basic needs and you would be amazed at how far recognition, feedback and acknowledgement can take you in the workplace.

Often when we are stressed at work and money is tight – our natural instinct is to come from a place of scarcity because the business is financially strapped. When this happens we see every little thing that is wrong, every bit of work undone, every negative that can be found seems to be drawn to us.

Focus on finding the positive and giving feedback in a way that means something. you can tell someone they did a good job which does not leave a lasting impression, or you can give them skill based feedback that builds confidence, inspires them and motivates them at the same time.

For example, instead of good job, how about feedback on their leadership skills, or organizational skills, and pointing out how something they did had a positive impact on the business and letting them know you appreciate it and then… ask them how they became so good at this. Then – listen. Really listen to what they say. People want to work for an organization where their contribution matters and their leaders notice what they do.

We are not all always good at this – I know I am not. And when I catch myself always noticing the negative, I consciously take a step back and look for ways to inspire and lead – never just throw money at it because money does not change behavior and it certainly doesn’t buy lasting motivation.

Links:
http://www.deliveringhappiness.com/
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On 09/15/11 5:24 PM, Jacques Chartrain (Open Networker) wrote:
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I think you need to recognize that giving someone a raise is not a motivator, although failing to do so when commonly expected could be a demotivator if not handled properly.

More money doesn’t motive, at least never for long and few if any people can afford to give the kind of raise that would turn an unmotivated worker into a motivated one.

I believe that you have to handle the situation honestly and be as transparent as you are allowed to be. If you can’t give a raise because times are tough, you nedd to come clean and meet them face to face and explain it in a way that makes it feel like we are all working together.

Offering something else in place may help. Time off, flex shifts, relaxed dress code, discounted products, etc, may be of help.
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We need to find out why cant we give the employees a raise. Is it because of cost pressure or bleak business / macro situations or its a new / growing business or whether there is a performance issue.

if it is cost pressure, we need to be honest with the employees. let them know that we need to increase productivity, find new ways to become smarter at work, which will improve our efficiencies and pave way for increasing margin and hence pay hikes.

If the business isnt doing well or situation overall isnt good, then we need to rationalize the resources. Remove the bottom players, give people additional responsibility (and authority).. With lesser resources, we may be able to provide decent hikes.

if its a performance issue, then we need to tackle the problem head on. Bottom players, if not taken care off, will impact the motivation and productivity of all resources. So take the bottom players out and get fresh blood. With increased delivery, you may turn around and give people decent hikes in the future.

Whatever the situation may be, the bosses need to be honest and the team has to be patient.

However, we should continue to do motivational programs like Rewards and Recognition, provide them with Training on New Skills, take them out for Lunch/Dinners and keep communicating to them on what is the progress we are making.. It also is a good chance to build rapport with the employees. One on one conversations and relationship building during these times can create a strong anchor to the professional relationships..
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On 09/16/11 7:00 AM, Ankita kumari wrote:
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Employees are like Children having different expectations and demands from the company. Try to find out what motivates them apart from money and talk to them on a personnel level.
Certainly recognition is the best way and if it is done in family get together party, it will make a big impact. Secondly try to do less of criticizing and more of praise for their work and surprise them with a pizza party or something for achieving the goal.
Remember Happy employees= Loyal employees!!!!
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On 09/16/11 1:06 PM, Imagination Branding wrote:
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Hey Lalit,

One thing you could try to do is make an awards and employee recognition program which could be truly one of a kind by creating unique awards made especially for them. With easy to create employee recognitions, your employees will feel appreciated and special, and as a result, will work even harder at their job. With these simple gifts to employees, they’ll finally feel rewarded for all their hard work.

Links:
http://blog.imaginationbranding.com/2011/06/27/how-to-create-an-awards-for-recognition-program-for-your-employees/
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On 09/16/11 5:06 PM, Daniel Kong wrote:
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participation….give shares option or profit-sharing.
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