If you want to motivate your employees, give them a challenge.

“Nothing motivates people more than a big, juicy challenge,” says Randy Harrington, CEO of Extreme Arts and Sciences in Eugene, Ore. That’s because a challenge gives employees the opportunity to make a difference.

Harrington suggests identifying two or three “big jobs” each year. Make them high-profile challenges that will ask employees to temporarily dig deeper and work even harder. Offer lots of recognition during these times. Distribute more accountability throughout the ranks. This is also a great time to coach and develop leadership skills in the ranks.