Morale is Not Necessarily the Road to Improved Productivity

October 24, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
SEATTLE, October 24, 2007 – Motivating employees has always been a high level concern for managers. As such, recognition and rewards often takes on mythical status in value for managers to improve employee productivity and increase retention. A U.S. Department of Labor study indicates 64 percent of working Americans quit their jobs because they feel unappreciated, and Gallup research estimates that seven-tenths of Americans complain about no recognition or praise at work.

Yet Rick Tate, senior managing partner for Impact Achievement Group Inc., a leading performance management and leadership development firm, cautions that (1) managers often take a leap of logic that more recognition and rewards will improve productivity and increase retention and (2) managers make profound mistakes in how they approach employee motivation by taking the easy route through extrinsic reward and recognition programs.

Research indicates that there are many more factors to consider regarding employee motivation, which when missing, erode the impact of recognition and rewards. In their book, People Leave Managers, Not Organizations Tate and Dr. Julie White expose many motivational myths and ineffective morale boosting methods traditionally thought to improve employee performance.

Impact Achievement Group has made Chapter 2, titled "Motivation at Work, available as a free download from .

The authors state that the motivation to perform comes from a work environment which allows employees to be productive, to achieve, and to participate in a meaningful manner. Citing recent groundbreaking research by Gallup and seminal work by other renowned experts, the authors provide managers and supervisors with more effective options for motivating excellent performance than typically seen in the workplace. Tate and White explore the question, "Are happy employees productive employees, or are productive employees happy employees?

"Without a shared philosophy and framework for performance expectations, standards, accountability and meaningful participation, common tactics to motivate and recognize employees result in a very low return on investment—even a negative return," said Tate. "All too often the effort to motivate and inspire is merely a disguised attempt at bribery—and employees can always tell the difference. Recognition must be viewed as 'no strings attached'."

Dr. White, senior managing partner at Impact Achievement Group added, "True appreciation for employees is demonstrated when they have a work environment which values their contribution, where they can do their best work, where co-workers are committed to quality work, and where they can achieve, learn, and grow. Without these intrinsic motivators in place, recognition programs and perks such as company parties have very little meaning."

About Impact Achievement Group
Impact Achievement Group is a training and performance management consulting company that provides assessments, coaching, story-based interactive workshops, and simulations for managers at all levels of organizations worldwide. Impact Achievement Group helps companies dramatically improve leadership and management competency for bottom-line results. Company experts Rick Tate and Julie White, Ph.D. are internationally recognized authorities in leadership development, human performance, service quality and communications.

Lee Klepinger