I find it's mostly small things that make employees motivated not all the rah-rah.
1) Taking a REAL interest in what they are doing/how they are (not just lip service)
2) Peer recognition of work not just some pointy haired idiot wandering round saying "well done!" at the slightest provocation.
3) Decent equipment rather than hardware & software tools that were obsolete 5 years ago.
4) Easy going working environment. Flexible hours (within reason) and places to crash for an hour or just wind down periodically without someone breathing down their neck.
5) PROPER project management in preference to asking developers if they've finished a chunk of work every half-hour or until the PM gets an answer they like.They latter just stimulates lying and totally de-motivates technical staff.
I've also found that a middling monthly salary (mid-range in the salary bracket) but significantly bigger bonuses on completion of projects (on time, in budget etc etc) makes a dramatic difference to effort.
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