Interesting comment from legendary businessman Jack Welch, who spoke to a group in Raleigh. He reportedly said the following about motivating employees:

On innovation: Encourage ideas and communication in your company. “If somebody comes up with an idea, you exaggerate how important it is,” he says, adding that a good leader gets to know his or her employees, from what they’re doing in the office to what they discuss at the dinner table. “You want engagement more than anything else you can get out of them.” And ask yourself a question: “Have I explained to my people what’s in it for them if they succeed?”

I certainly don’t presume to know more about business than Mr. Welch. I can only say that my experience over 20 years is that explaining what’s in it for them motivates a smaller and smaller portion of the workforce as time goes by. What I notice is that greater numbers of employees have disdain for their employer and, at the same time, believe the employer owes them something no matter the economy, no matter market forces. That’s the attitude that has emerged as fewer and fewer people are taught about capitalism, market forces, business cycles, and such, and more and more people look to government for support.