Hit the snooze alarm. Roll out of bed. Drink coffee. Go to work. Return phone calls and attend meetings. Go home. Eat dinner. Go to sleep. Hit the snooze . . . Are some of your employees in a rut?

Sustainable motivation is difficult for most of us, and your employees are no exception. Since the profit/productivity cycle is dependent on a motivated workforce, the issue is crucial to corporate success. Is there anything you can do to pump them up, and, in the process, reduce absenteeism, improve morale and increase productivity?

Absolutely! The key is effective communication.

Here are some ideas to get your employees off autopilot.

Express appreciation. Tell your employees face-to-face that their work is valued or send a short, handwritten note as a "well done." Emphasize their importance to the final product and the corporate bottom line.

Encourage employees to grow. Urge employees to take on more responsibility and seek leadership opportunities. By doing so, you're expressing confidence and support - two key factors that boost a person's positive attitude toward the job and the company.

Create incentives. How many times have you bought a box of Cracker Jacks just to get to the prize inside? People crave incentives. Whether it's a bonus, increased compensation or tickets to the movies, reward programs add spark to routine jobs.

Set goals and stick to them. Give your employees something to strive for. If they see an attainable goal, they can measure their accomplishments, which is critical to a feeling of self-worth.

Don't accept poor performance. If you don't expect 100 percent, then you won't get it. Make it a practice to only accept your employees' best efforts. Regular, structured evaluations keep everyone on track.

Add some fun to the workplace. Even those who love their jobs may become stagnant from time to time. Bring in cookies. Have a pizza party. Pass a joke around the office. When it comes to loyalty and productivity, little things mean a lot.

To discuss specific ways of motivating your employees - or maybe even yourself - call Berry Associates Public Relations, Inc. at 973-984-3100. We've been developing employee motivation programs for over 25 years.