Make us your home page

Motivated workers reap rewards in many ways

Each week, in the CBS show Undercover Boss, the head of a major American company goes undercover as a beginning employee and tries a variety of low-level jobs. He (they've all been men so far) sees the good and the bad, learns how hard many people work and hones in on what is working and not working at his company. He then reports back to his board and makes the necessary changes. • Most important, he pays attention to what motivates the "standout" employees he meets. He rewards them with incentives. For some it's a promotion. A few employees want a role as a motivator for other employees. Still others benefit from improved health care or college scholarships. • Here in the real world, especially during this drawn-out recession, it's easy to get bogged down with a "poor me" attitude.

What motivates people?

A recent study by the Kaisen Consulting in the United Kingdom found that achievement, working with others and recognition were the top three motivators in a survey of 250 businesspeople. The study also found that women attached a higher significance to the quality of their working relationships than men (60 percent to 44 percent). Also, despite some traditional thinking, fear is not an effective motivator. It may work in the short-term, but over the long haul, fear makes today's workers resentful, less productive and more willing to leave for a better working culture.

Experts also debunk some other long-held myths. Money isn't always the best motivator, they say. Neither is prestige or the coveted corner office. Instead, they hold that the best motivators give employees a sense that they have a "stake" in how the company's doing. They feel listened to and valued. Well-motivated workers see how their performance is tied to the company's reputation, future and bottom line.

I took my own sampling, asking some business contacts. Here are some responses.

Stay busy

"We're so busy there's never a dull moment. It's hard not to be motivated."

Megan Geosano, a public relations professional at Blast Marketing, Chicago

Motivate others

"Dealing with people motivates me. I motivate and reassure them to take the financial steps necessary to meet their financial goals."

Tish Wold, a certified financial planner at Belleair Wealth Strategies, Belleair Bluffs

Put yourself in the customer's shoes

"It's the pride of accomplishment. When I finish a project and see how happy the customer is, I'm proud. I also know that means a recommendation and more work. We can all use more work right now."

Larry Renda of Air Quality Control Air Conditioning, St. Petersburg

Motivation is personal. Only you can motivate yourself. But self-motivation pays off. Studies show that motivated employees are not only happier at work; they inspire others, improve their company's productivity, and generally receive the promotions and raises.

Marie Stempinski is the founder and president of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in marketing, public relations and business and career trends counseling. She also leads workshops. She can be reached at

Motivated workers reap rewards in many ways 05/16/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump


    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  2. Pasco county lawyer disbarred for taking woman's money

    Real Estate

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis.

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis. 
[2016 booking photo via Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Rick Scott signs package of tax breaks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott signed a tax cut package Thursday that — while vastly scaled back from what he wanted — eliminates the so-called "tampon tax" and offers tax holidays for back-to-school shoppers and Floridians preparing for hurricane season.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a tax cut package that will cost state coffers $91.6 million during the upcoming year. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. FBI probes fraudster's alleged church scam following Tampa Bay Times report

    Real Estate

    PLANT CITY — Once again, the FBI is investigating felon fraudster Victor Thomas Clavizzao.

    The FBI is investigating convicted mortgage fraudster Victor Thomas Clavizzao on new allegations following a Tampa Bay Times report.
[TImes file photo]

  5. Tampa Bay is ground-zero for assignment of benefits cases over broken auto glass


    When Rachel Thorpe tried to renew her auto insurance last year for her Toyta RAV4, she was stunned to see her monthly premium had nearly doubled to $600. The Sarasota driver was baffled since her only recent claim was over a broken windshield.

    Auto glass lawsuits filed by a third party (through what's known as assignment of benefits) are skyrocketing in Tampa Bay.
[Times file photo]