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…
Whether your plan for it or not, the post-holiday lull is inevitable.
After a stream of holiday parties, short work weeks, and general end of year festivities comes to an end, the harsh reality that it’s time to get back to business begins. It’s natural for employees to become bored and unmotivated during this period but the good news is that most people are craving improvements in their life, and now is your chance to be part of their New Year’s resolutions.
Yes, now is the ideal time to get creative with your incentives program. That doesn’t have to mean creating sales contests or rewarding your top sellers to get results (although it can’t hurt). The truly innovative manager thinks not just outside the box, but all the way around the edges to find ways to motivate. Read more…
A new book about innovation is structured around a central question, which the author (Michael Schrage) calls the Ask. The central question (and the title of the book): Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?
An article on FastCompany.com by Schrage takes a closer look at this question, noting that it is the ask that differentiates innovators and how they approach their customers.
The point, in a nutshell: Successful innovators don’t just ask customers and clients to do something different; they ask them to become someone different. Read more…
As the Olympics come to an end, I’m proud of how many medals our American team is coming home with, but not quite as thrilled with the tax bill they’ll face for winning.
It’s not the value of the medal itself that the IRS wants its share of, it’s the prize money that comes with a gold, silver or bronze that is taxable. The U.S. Olympic Committee rewards Olympic medalists with cash honorariums: a gold medal brings $25,000, silver medals get $15,000, and a bronze is worth $10,000.
As calculated by the Weekly Standard, the IRS will take $3,500 of a bronze athlete’s winnings, silver medalists will owe $5,385 in taxes, and winning the gold (which is priceless) will set Ryan and Michael each out $8,986 per race. Read more…
If you have ever had occasion to reward talent there is one question you must ask before you can begin to answer the question of how to reward high performers:
“What motivates the employee you’re looking to reward?”
Different things motivate different people
Is the person you’re rewarding an hourly employee? Salaried? Commission based?
If it’s a money-motivated type, cash is typically king. Read more…
It’s still early in the new year, and that means it’s time to look back and decide what has and hasn’t been working at your company.
One of the things that you might consider looking at is your rewards and incentives program. How did it fare last year? Did employees participate? What awards and rewards did you hand out at the end of the year? Were employees excited about the program and were they talking about it for the rest of the year?
If the answers to those questions were “no,” or “I’m not sure,” then it might be time to re-evaluate your program.
Rewards and incentives programs that employees are not excited about are programs that are not effective. Rather than throwing out the entire program, a better approach is to look at how the program is being run – maybe you just need to change things up a little. Read more…
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I like perks and rewards. Who doesn’t like getting a gift card, cash or even a reward trip for working hard? And when we talk about motivation and engagement, we talk about these things because it is easy to understand (and maybe more importantly, easy to believe they are effective).
But the question shouldn’t be whether or not we think these things are effective. On the contrary — we should be examining whether or not they actually are effective.
As I was driving to the office the other day, I caught a news snippet from National Public Radio (NPR) in America about a tea controversy (ahem) boiling in the UK.
Apparently, tea maker Twinings has changed its 180-year old Earl Grey tea recipe, adding extra citrus flavor. The reaction? Extreme anger from loyal consumers who think the new tea “tastes like lemon cleaning product.”
Worse is Twinings’ reaction. Despite a very public Facebook campaign and all the negative press, Twinings refuses to restore the old recipe. Why? Because “market research” says the change is good. Read more…
I’m often asked, “Where’s the ROI in recognition?”
One answer is in the dramatic, double-digit boost strategic employee recognition regularly gives to employee engagement. (Towers Watson reported a 15 percent increase in employee engagement correlates to a 2 percent increase in operating income.)
Another less obvious but more powerful impact on revenue is having a strategy for improving company performance through your people.
Mark Harbeke reported on analysis of companies who applied for Winning Workplaces’ Top Small Company Workplaces award that those how had such a strategy had a 41 percent higher average revenue in 2010 than those who did not. Read more…
Managers and leadership can only influence so much. Our own attitude is up to us.
As if the discussion over engaged employees vs. satisfied employees wasn’t confusing enough, now let’s toss in happy employees.
An article in Fortune last month pointed out:
Recent studies have demonstrated that the happier a worker is, the more productive they will be on the job. While an employee may appear engaged in their work, they may not be as effective as they could be if they were happy.” Read more…