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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask the Boss

Q. How should you motivate your staff?

Sammy Kotwani, founder, The Imperial Tailoring Co.:

"First, you need to have more talking -- we have a meeting every month with employees. Talking not to do with work: general things, like how is everything, how is your family, talks about the economy of the country.

"Salaries are the most important thing. Money makes all the difference. We have an employee-of-the-month scheme. Then we have half-annual bonuses. But the bonuses are not guaranteed. If I give everything guaranteed, they don't get motivated.

"You should never scold in front of other people, you should take them aside. I have to be polite to them -- I want them to be polite to my customers. The drivers get scolded everyday, then you give them a bottle of vodka on Friday so they're ready for a scolding next week. All the drivers have loans from me. If they don't have loans, they won't stay working for me.

"The expat staff knows that the better the quality of work they do, the more money they get. You need to motivate the Russians in many ways -- gifts for the family; you have to give the children something.

"My employees get motivated when the boss knows something, because they know he has the right solutions for all the problems. I want them to be like me."

Vera Chernyavskaya, director of personnel, MTV Russia:

"A clever combination of toughness and defense of the company's interests with the desire to listen and understand -- to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement. Shouting, threats and violence are unacceptable.

"The manager tries to match the aims of the employee and the aims of the organization ... so that when the aims of the company are achieved, the expectations of the employees are also met."

Thomas Koessler, executive chef, Marriott Royal Aurora:

"In reality, your job as a manager or boss is not to motivate your staff. Motivation is internal. Instead, you are responsible for creating an environment in which people can motivate themselves. And this can be done without giving or promising money, pay raises, bonuses, etc.

"Motivating factors are to have open communication with your staff, recognize them, develop their career and explain to them what's in it for them -- their future opportunities. Make a development plan for them, openly praise good staff, give them leadership positions. Nothing says confidence and trust like putting someone in a position of leadership with the ability to make decisions.

"Only giving more money is a short-term motivational strategy. But what will you do when your staff wants more and more, and their motivation is not achieving the work goal, only more and more money?"