Who says employees can't be motivated to work harder and smarter? Experts on personnel management have developed proven techniques to inspire top performance that can lead to superior work habits happier customers and fatter bottom-line profits. "Top managers realize that in a tight labor market it's cheaper to concentrate on retention than to live with high turnover" says Don Schackne president of Personnel Management and Administration Associates Delaware OH. "When an employee walks out the door you lose all your invested training dollars and productivity. Starting over with a new employee is very expensive and creates morale problems." Is the secret to boost salaries? Not in the long run. "Paying more money isn't the answer" Schackne contends. "You may steal a few employees from the competition that way but you can raise your cost of doing business to a level that cannot be passed on to your customers." With tighter profit margins businesses may find it difficult to motivate by fattening the workers' wallets. Experts point to this secret of motivation: Build employees' human potential. Show them how working at the company can increase their skills and propel them forward in their career path. "Effective management of employees has the purpose of helping individuals achieve to their maximum abilities resiliently and independently" says Dr. Peter A. Spevak director of the Center for Applied Motivation Rockville MD. "This results in an activated responsible workforce that through its efforts provides meaning as well as income for each individual employee and for the business." How can management help bring about this profitable situation? Here are seven steps: 1. Relate employee goals to the business's goals. 2. Provide individual feedback. 3. Provide career counseling. 4. Teach employees other job functions. 5. Involve employees in planning. 6. Involve employees in motivating the team. 7. Try new motivational methods.