Recognition: The Missing Ingredient for Great Results
WANT TO be a more effective manager? One key is to develop an environment where your team members can be motivated to excel. The secret to developing a motivating work environment is the use of positive consequences such as recognition.
Research over the years has led to the development of what some have called the greatest management principle in the world: "You get what you reward." Sincere, regular and positive recognition and rewarding of desired behaviors is common sense—though not common practice. A recent Gallup poll of thousands of employees found that 65 percent claimed to have received no praise or recognition in the past year.
Everyone likes to be recognized and shown appreciation. William James was one of the most respected psychologists who ever lived. After a lifetime of research and practice he concluded that most people's greatest need is the need for appreciation. Ongoing recognition and praise makes a person feel appreciated, important and stimulates the intrinsic motivation to excel. Recent Gallup research found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:
• Increase their individual productivity
• Increase engagement among their colleagues
• Are more likely to stay with their organization
• Receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
• Have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job
On the other hand, a recent survey by Robert Half Associates showed that the number one reason for leaving a company was "limited recognition and praise."
Top 10 Ways to Motivate
There are specific actions we can take to improve our recognition practices. Following are the "Top 10 Ways to Motivate Employees" (adopted from recognition expert Bob Nelson's latest book entitled "Motivating Today's Employees"):
1. Provide Personal Thanks
Mark Twain once said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." A landmark research study showed the number one thing that employees wanted was "full appreciation for work done."
Wes Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high performing teams and has extensive experience in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. A former in-plant manager, he is also an award-winning university instructor and speaker, and is the president of Solomon Training and Development, which provides leadership, management and team building training. His book, Your Team Can Soar! contains 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you, and give you practical pointers to help you—and your team—soar to new heights of performance. Your Team Can Soar! can be ordered from Xulonpress.com/bookstore or wesfriesen.com. Wes can be contacted at email@example.com.