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Annoying Employee Motivation Gimmicks: Part Two

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Today’s post, highlighting more motivational gimmicks in the workplace, is part two of this series by Cali Ressler, Founder of CultureRx and co-creator of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE).

In part one, Cali Ressler points out 4 motivational gimmicks in the workplace including: Office parties, Working from home (same rules, different location), Pets in the Office, and Walking around to “show how much you care”. Her unique perspective in this first post is eye-opening and informative to say the very least. Certainly, we have no doubts that this second post will be just as intriguing to read. Check out her final perspectives on three more motivation gimmicks below.

  • Employee-of-the-month parking spot
  • Jeff Haden beats up on this tired old gimmick in his article on

    “When you announce your latest Employee of the Month, one employee ‘wins.’ Great. That means every other employee loses. Recognition should be specific, timely, genuine… and available to everyone, not just a ‘winner.’ Get rid of generic praise and recognition programs and spread the positive feedback wealth.”

    Try instead: Take some tips from Razor Suleman, Founder and CEO of Achievers.

  • Dress down Friday
  • This one is simple. Telling your employees how to dress during the week is ridiculous, and giving them a special day to wear jeans is even more ridiculous.

    Try instead: Let employees be in charge of their own wardrobe decisions. Easy as that. Handle the one person who will decide to wear a tube top, mini-skirt and flip-flops to a client meeting with one conversation; don’t punish the rest because of her bad decisions.

  • Office gym, coffee shop, dry cleaner (and anything else you might need)
  • Corporate perks that seem awesome may get in the way of work-life balance. Google, for example, and similar massive organizations are creating campuses where everything is there that you need; sleeping nooks, dry-cleaners, gyms, daycare — everything’s at the office. People look to Google and say: “Look at how progressive they are!”

Jeans at work

© Flickr user CarbonNYC

Why would you ever leave the office? There’s everything you need right here!

As summarized by architect Andrew Maynard:

Modern employment tactics create the illusion that our employer is our friend. This fabrication empowers the employer while denying the employed the right to vocalize and protest dissatisfaction of their working conditions. “You’re not going to stick around and help out? I thought we were a team? I thought we were friends?”

If you find yourself banging your head against the wall with employee motivation programs, gimmicks, rewards, incentives, perks, benefits, raises, promotions, all without success, then maybe you’re ignoring the basics.

Cali ResslerCali Ressler’s first book, Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, was named “The Year’s Best Book on Work-Life Balance” by Business Week. She has been featured on the covers of BusinessWeek, Workforce Management Magazine, HR Magazine, Hybrid Mom Magazine, as well as in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, USA Today, and on Good Morning America, CNBC and CNN. Cali and her partner created ROWE based on the belief that the traditional solution of flexible schedules is not the answer to managing life’s many twists and turns.

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