The most powerful forms of employee motivation are surprisingly informal in nature. In fact, if there's one place to start in making your workplace more motivating it's to have your managers begin providing timely, sincere and specific praise to those people who are performing well. But there's a lot more that can be done as well. Here's an example from the City of San Diego of how one manager almost single-handedly developed a recognition culture in her department-and with limited resources. Private industry can learn a lot from government and especially from an innovative manager such as we find in Elsie Tamayo.