Sometimes you can’t control the environment you’re in. If that’s the case and you’ve got to reward folks, I’d strongly suggest you pick up 365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees with Little or Not Money by Dianna Podmoroff. I know that’s a qualified recommendation, but let me explain. The book does an absolutely excellent job of providing techniques for motivating employees. It’s a great book to keep you thinking about different approaches for “gimicks” and “games” to motivate employees. There are some truly great ideas in here to inspire you to take some action to motivate employees – whether you’re in HR or not. The book recognizes all of the key factors of motivation, that you can’t create motivation you can only foster it. The book struggles with the same concepts that managers everywhere struggle with – “How do you awaken employee’s natural desire to be better?”
My real struggle with the book is that it’s an “evolutionary” rather than “revolutionary” approach to the topic. It’s not that this is wrong, it’s the right answer for most situations, however, I was looking for more of how you can drive change in an organization – to refocus the organization to enabling the employees to be better – it’s just that this book doesn’t do that. The book does, however, still get to keep a space on my virtual bookshelf so I can refer to it when I’m looking for ways to plug people in.