You Betta Recognize!Posted: August 17, 2013
In my last post, I brought up the myriad problems that spring up around incentivization schemes. When you incentivize employees, it comes across as manipulative and insulting. You’re basically saying to your employee that you don’t trust them to do their best and that they are about as easy to motivate as the dogs in Pavlov’s experiments. With that in mind, you’re going to dangle some bones in front of them to get them to do what you want. Not a motivating or inspiring message to say the least.
Well then, if incentivization schemes don’t work, what does? Recognize your employees! Then recognize them some more. Your employees want to feel that you trust them and value their contributions. By giving them enough autonomy to take initiative and then recognizing the hard work they are putting in, you will not only have engaged employees, but ones that are loyal to you and your organization.
Some tips on recognition:
– Get to know your employees and then manage by always being present. This will help you understand both your employees’ strengths and what they are doing well. In the workplace, you need to give 3 positive pieces of feedback for every negative/constructive piece of feedback, so you need to become very comfortable praising people (genuinely) and praising them often for a job well done.
– Encourage recognition as part of your culture. It shouldn’t come just from you, but from the entire team. Put processes in place so that team members can formally recognize each other in meetings, on a bulletin, or in private.
– Give the credit to your team. Even if you were driving the project, make it known far and wide who contributed and how. Leaders work through their teams and recognize that the credit goes to them as well.
– Look for small gifts that can be given as a way of saying thanks. This can take many forms – movie tickets, extra time off, a coffee, a small thank you note delivered in a meeting. With recognition, it really is the thought that counts.