The Basics of Motivation

  • A very close relative of feedback is praise and reinforcement. Praise could either be a verbal compliment or a hand written note that says, “You did a really good job.” “I appreciate your work.” “You’re a great person to work with.” E-cards are also an efficient and cost-saving way to praise students. Praise doesn’t need to be elaborate, just honest. It should come from someone who understands the job and knows the student.
  • Give a token of appreciation to recognize the contributions of students. Supervisors can consider small items from websites like Baudville or inexpensive morale boosters such as food, desk accessories, office supplies, and drinkware.
  • Assign new work duties based on talent or interest. Taking advantage that many students have completed the CliftnStrengths for Students assessment, consider thinking creatively about their role and aligning the job responsibilities with their strengths. Supervisors can also motivate students simply by asking them what they are interested in doing and assigning them those tasks.

Best Practices

Day to Day

  • Always take time to greet your team members.
  • Give daily feedback on employee performance.
  • Treat people as professionals.
  • Say a simple “thank you.”

Special Events

  • Host a staff meeting outside the workplace in a more relaxed environment.
  • Meet outdoors during the spring or summer.
  • Bang the “gong” – Gather team members together daily/weekly at a certain time to share information and celebrate successes. (Bang the gong to gather the team.)
  • Have fun: Give out prizes for craziest shirt/socks/hat day.

The Extra Mile

  • Post positive feedback from customers/others/colleagues.
  • If possible, offer flexible work arrangements (starting/ending time) especially during “exam weeks.”

Learn more about motivating employees using training resources from myLearn,