by Roy Saunderson | August 05, 2011
When the CEO tweets about a company achievement or a particular employee accomplishment it is a huge morale builder. We know when the company Facebook page has announced a new employee incentive or team-building event or contest--the response is  tremendous and generates high engagement. But there are technologies beyond social media driving employee motivation.  Professor David C. Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University is an expert in RFID technology (radio frequency identification) and says this has become a tremendous motivator in the workplace.
 
RFID describes a system which transmits the identity of an object or person wirelessly. This tracking can be used in many ways and can provide previously unimaginable business intelligence, such as new ways of tracking and rewarding performance of specific people and product sales or flagging those not performing to standard so that they can receive coaching and development. Below are 10 ways RFID and similar technologies should be understood and used to motivate your workforce:
 
1. Look to RFID to revitalize sales and marketing. According to Professor Wyld, RFID can track inventory at the item level, enabling a firm and its supply chain partners to observe sales performance in new ways. Imagine a retailer being able to know what each salesperson is selling in real time.  
 
2. Use RFID to motivate your bean-counters. For employees who protect your bottom line, Wyld reminds us that RFID is able to track millions of inventory items sold.  For product-powered firms and their partner companies, RFID provides a new era of customer service, employee and inventory tracking, and profitability.
 
3. Tech motivates even during layoffs. Obviously morale dips when layoffs or closings are announced.  JobpadHQ.com  is a free online job search tool that helps job seekers get organized and eliminate the frantic chaos of job hunting. JobPad reduces search time by aggregating leads from multiple job sites into one place. Exiting employees will be impressed by the site's progress checks, planning and goal-setting tools.
 
4. Tech is ramping up at trade shows. Replacing the fishbowl of business cards is data collection software and lead retrieval devices. Malcolm Gilvar, executive vice president of the Trade Group says handheld scanners take booth stop-bys to the next level by improving relationship building for employees with potential customers and providing benchmarking data for future shows. 
 
5. Tech motivates after the exhibit hall. Gilvar reminds us of the importance of following up. From an online questionnaire to interactive games and videos, data collected at trade shows can be crunched to help your staff close their sales.
 
6. Tech keeps drivers safe and motivated. Your sales road warriors and transportation professionals can use technology to get where they're going faster, safer, and without distractions. PhantomALERT is a smartphone app that alerts drivers as they approach red light cameras and sudden drops in the posted speed limit. Sharing this type of technology with driving employees is a positive way to say thanks.
 
7.  Effective technology is key for point of service transactions. When employees are saddled with slow and inefficient equipment, they get frustrated and so does the customer. Investing in state-of-the-art technology, similar to the product line of Citizen Systems, for consumer transactions and customer data collection is essential to keep loyalty across your workforce. 
 
8.  E-mail recognition, social media and  Ning can motivate. According to Jennifer Lumba, CMO at Rideau Recognition Solutions, these tech platforms are effective motivators for both employees and supply chain partners because they enable employees and managers spread across the globe to connect virtually.   
 
9. Try viral motivation through online recognition. Jennifer Lumba reminds us of the positive power of viral communication, which exponentially influences employee morale and attitude.  Social media platforms encourage instant, spontaneous peer-to-peer recognition which motivates employees to perform.
 
10. Tech facilitates learning on the go. Now training is as portable as a smartphone or MP3 player. Dawn Koenig, vice president of Brand Performance Support, shares how Homewood Suites by Hilton, uses iPod devices to roll out 10-, 15- or 20-minute videos to their staff. Employees can learn on the go, and so guests see results more quickly. 

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Recognition Way and president of the Recognition Management Institute, www.realrecognition.com, which consults companies on improving employee motivation that leads to increased productivity and profit. He can be reached at roysaunderson@rideau.com. Also, tune in every Tuesday to his radio show, Real Recognition Radio