By Howard Mavity
Although Americans have celebrated some sort of Thanksgiving since 1661, Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday by proclamation on November 28, 1863.
The Thanksgiving holiday takes on more meaning when one considers that an American people, so exhausted by war, nonetheless gathered together to offer thanks.
We seldom consider the concepts of “gratitude” and “Thanksgiving” as part of our management strategy. I wrote earlier this week about reframing corporate goals so that employees can have a decent shot of being “happy at work.” So let’s talk a bit about cultivating “gratitude” in the workplace. Read more…
Low levels of employee engagement are plaguing companies today and improved rewards and recognition programs are the solution, according to Accelir’s recent Rewards & Recognition: 2014 Trends Report.
Company cuts and cost reductions, technology advances and a rapidly changing global marketplace have led to employees’ job security concerns, elevated stress levels and a lesser sense of company and job loyalty. As a result, HR professionals are challenged with low productivity, negative attitudes, increased absenteeism and reduced employee retention rates in the workplace.
Accelir’s report examines future trends in strategic employee rewards and recognition programs. The company’s summer 2013 survey showed that “less than half of companies have programs that reward workers based on performance indicators.” Read more…
Recently over on Compensation Cafe, I shared the story of one team of highly skilled professionals in one very large organization and how a sole focus (poorly implemented) on compensation as a substitute for true recognition affects their daily motivation and engagement.
Specifically, I focused on three (3) lessons learned from these bad practices:
- Moving the merit target.
- Hitting the pay range ceiling.
- “Promoting” to salary but reducing earnings. Read more…
Your company holiday events and parties are probably already on the calendar and in the serious planning stages, but where are your recognition efforts on that calendar?
Have you asked yourself what part will recognition play in your seasonal events?
Everyday recognition is important in many ways, from motivation to creating happy employees. However, when it comes to seasonal events, it’s time for you to pull out all the stops to make sure every one of your employees is heard, included, and celebrated for what they’re contributing to the team. Read more…
The 2008 recession was shocking to many for many reasons, not least of which was the failure or near failure of very large companies that had become institutions in the minds of many.
In the U.S., just one example is the auto powerhouse of the Big 3 in Detroit – Ford, General Motors (GM), and Chrysler. All three were hurting badly by the end of 2008, with two ultimately accepting bailouts from the U.S. government.
All but Ford.
What kept Ford from needing a bailout? There are several factors, including prior leveraging of its assets. But I think it’s more than just the clear-cut monetary business factors. Read more…
Retaining employees within the first five years of service can be a challenge.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job tenure of American workers across all industries is 4.6 years, with the highest levels of retention occurring in the public sector (7.8 years) and the lowest in Leisure and Hospitality services (2.4 years). Millennial workers reported the lowest overall average tenure of 3.2 years.
In light of these trends, it is surprising to find in a recent survey conducted by Accelir that while an overwhelming majority of organizations (91 percent) utilize reward and recognition programs to honor tenure-based awards, only 12 percent include an early recognition element. Read more…
The secret to employee retention is not to try and reinvent the wheel, but emulate the practices used by organizations that have been very successful at keeping their staff.
Two such organizations are Marriott Hotels and Southwest Airlines. Both companies have extremely low staff turnover, while still consistently posting profits.
Both have successfully tapped into a very powerful truth. The underlying basis of their success is that they are able to provide for the basic emotional needs of their employees in a manner that creates lasting ties to the organization. Read more…
I am deeply disturbed by an article by Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times.
In it, based on research about sales people flattering customers, Kellaway concludes that public recognition is bad, and therefore, recognition of others should only be given in private.
Clearly, this is a flawed use of irrelevant research to underpin conclusions drawn based on personal experience. Read more…
The husband of a member of my team (we’ll call him “Tom”) works on very complex circuit board designs.
The way the company is structured, Tom is pulled in as a resource to an engineering team as new projects are added. Based on the traditional organization chart, however, he is not a member of the engineering team.
A year ago, Tom worked with a particular engineering team headed by Jim on a project worth tens of millions of dollars to the organization. During the course of developing the circuit board, Tom found an error with design prior to the board going to manufacture. Tom’s discovery and fix saved the company several million dollars in erroneous production costs, increasing the profit margin on this particular project. Read more…
Once upon a time, I worked for a company that used epic storytelling in their cultural narrative.
The annual company-wide party was a chance to recount the early, sputtering days of the company: the group ran out of money, and when the CEO met with the team to lay them off, all the employees volunteered to work for free, or at greatly reduced salaries. The company bootstrapped and clawed their way to a successful technology organization that sold for a handsome profit, rewarding all those volunteers and the employees who had followed.
The tale of “the little company that could,” the nights and weekends spent building the business, were part of the story that employees told each other. Read more…