I received an email last week from a former colleague thanking me for shaping the vision for a project that finally got launched to much success five years later.
Again, I am struck by the power of recognition and bewildered at why companies don’t use it effectively or at all.
The research is incontrovertible; recognition has a longer term impact on satisfaction than do raises. People are motivated by more than money, yet, that is where we spend the majority of our time.
So dollar for dollar, recognition is a better use of time and a stretched budget. Why then, do companies resist? Read more…
Recognizing employees is important.
Regular readers of this blog know the research behind this. Strategic recognition – frequent, timely, specific recognition of employee behaviors and achievements in line with the company core values and strategic objectives – is proven to increase employee engagement, productivity, performance and retention.
Giving employees detailed messages of praise and appreciation is the key to achieving these results. Read more…
Nice guys finish last. We’ve all heard that phrase before. Which probably means that there’s something to it.
Now why is that?
Because we’ve seen it happen, haven’t we? Again and again.
In the work environment all too often the steady and reliable performers — those who follow the policies and procedures, who stay on the right side of ethical dilemmas and controversy, the “nice guys” that every manager would like to have on their team — they can come up short when recognition and rewards are being passed about. Read more…
I encounter many myths about employee recognition in my role as a consultant to companies looking to establish or strengthen a culture of appreciation in their organizations.
One of the most common myths I look to debunk quickly is “top performers are the only people deserving of recognition and rewards.”
Why is it important to recognize beyond the top performers? Three reasons:
- The middle 70 percent of performers are the “Steady Eddies” who constantly crank out good, solid work, making it possible for your top performers – the stars – to shine. Read more…
You just received an above average performance rating from your manager, which naturally put a big grin on your face.
Which was subsequently wiped away when you heard that for your annual salary adjustment you would receive what amounted to 1 percent more of a salary increase than “Joe Average” down the hall. Tight budget this year, you’re told.
You know Joe, or his type. He’s the disengaged clock watcher whose most notable accomplishment is keeping his chair warm. Doesn’t do enough to either get fired or stand above the crowd. However, his level of performance is considered the standard in a bell-shaped curve, and so receives an “average” award. Read more…
There is solid evidence from a number of major reviews of the research over 30 years that financial rewards can be expected to trigger improved performance.
That is widely accepted and a core practice in pay systems throughout the world.
And yet every so often a contrarian publishes a book or article and disciples respond. The most recent is Daniel Pink and his bestselling book Drive. The favorable reviews for the book, its sales and continuing references confirm his argument is credible to many.
Prior to Pink’s book, this was a heated but largely inconsequential academic debate. His book provides new ammunition to those who oppose pay for performance. However – and this is a key – they are relying on virtually non-existent evidence. Read more…
Organizations that believe in driving an intentional culture – whether for engagement purposes, recruitment purposes, performance purposes, innovation purposes, or all of the above – might think it logical to tie their recognition programs directly to their values.
But as it turns out, maybe not.
The new SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey Winter 2013 Report has some interesting survey data and thought-provoking findings. The survey, sent to 6,000 SHRM members at the manager level or higher, had a response rate of 13 percent and a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. So, with 770 randomly selected HR professionals employed at organizations with more than 499 employees across North America, the sample size is large enough for the results to be interesting. Read more…
Everyone who manages people would love an answer to this question: “When do I compensate employees and when do I reward employees?”
Most managers and HR professionals have debated this question at one time or another and quickly discovered that there isn’t a simple or all-encompassing answer.
There are times when cash compensation is the right approach and there are times when a non-cash reward such as merchandise, travel, a day off with pay, a team party or family picnic may be the answer. Read more…
I’ve seen (and written about) countless recognition gone wrong schemes, most usually those that are really incentive sand not recognition. (For the difference between incentives and recognition, I recommend this post.)
These incentives schemes often run off the rails because of the law of unintended consequences – you’re hoping for one outcome, but actively encouraging another.
Sales incentives typically fall in their own protected category, however. Sales commission plans are de rigueur and can be appropriate when applied correctly. Then there are schemes doomed to fail, such as incentive caps. Read more…
Over cake with colleagues at a recent company celebration, I had an epiphany. Well, perhaps not an epiphany as this is a truth I’ve long known, but definitely an analogy worth sharing.
As we enjoyed cake and petits fours (they’re smaller, so fewer calories, right?), my colleagues shared their plans to “get into shape for swimsuit season,” as they called it.
New Year’s resolutions for losing weight and getting fit have long passed, so now it is time to focus on the latest quick weight loss scheme – the newest pill, the craziest fad diet.
As we all joked together, I realized that this is what many companies do with employee recognition, motivation and engagement. They try the “quick fixes” – Pizza Party Wednesdays, Bagel Fridays, Employee of the Month, and my personal favorite, some form of peer nomination with a “winner” drawn from a hat. Read more…