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Study finds recognition the most effective motivator

Sometimes a little pat on the back can go a long way.

A survey by staffing firm Accountemps found that frequent recognition is the most effective non-monetary way to motivate employees.

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Sometimes a little pat on the back can go a long way.

A survey by staffing firm Accountemps found that frequent recognition is the most effective non-monetary way to motivate employees.

According to the study, 35 percent of workers and 30 percent of chief financial officers said frequent recognition of accomplishments was the most effective reward. 20 percent of workers asked said regular communication was the next best option.

Giving employees increased responsibilities was the third most common response, cited by 20 percent of CFOs and 17 percent of workers.

Eight percent of CFOs and 10 percent of workers cited o ff-site team-building and social events as a top motivator.

"No amount of team-building events or other perks can compensate for a manager personally thanking employees for a job well done," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies. "Individuals want to know their work is appreciated and makes a difference."

While extra time off and flexible schedules help employees maintain work/life balance, they didn't rank as top motivators. "These incentives are valuable in increasing loyalty over the long term, but there is no substitute for inspiring employees on a daily basis through words and actions," Messmer said.