Dear Management Doctor:
Have any ideas on how to motivate people? Was looking for cash incentives, parties, shirts and mugs at weekly meetings, etc.
I read your book and liked it. Definitely autobiographical. Nice to see that sometimes even YOU made a blunder or two!
Dear Needing Motivation:
There is nothing wrong with the ideas you have but they have little to do with true motivation. For example, money can be a true demotivation (i.e., I'm not being treated fairly) but has little to do with true motivation for most people. There is a theory about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is the money, shirts, etc. The problem is people then do things for the rewards and we are limited in the number of awards we can give. Intrinsic motivation is when people do something because they want to do it. What makes people want to do it? Today they want to be empowered and have control over their work (i.e., get their managers off their back). They also want to work on meaningful projects, have up-to-date tools, etc. For some interesting reading, try the book Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.
Hope this motivates you!
My suggestion, albeit a simpler one: get to know your people individually so you can ascertain the answer to that question from the source itself... (those you supervise).