POSITIVE RECOGNITION

"Why recognize employees for doing what they're supposed do?"

This is the question that many managers ask when discussing employee recognition programs. In today's workplace, it is necessary to recognize the efforts of valued employees. It has been proven that when employees are rewarded for their day-to-day contributions, they work even harder. One might argue that recognition programs are silly, childish, and unnecessary when employees are already being "paid to do their jobs." This viewpoint has proven to grow poor results in terms of motivation, however.

Effective recognition involves rewarding the dependable and consistent performers who keep our businesses running every day. With so much time spent in "putting out fires" and simply trying to complete "our own work," it is easy to take good performers for granted, letting "no news is good news" become our way of managing. Unfortunately, employees perceive that we do not value their performance.

The leader's job is to support the success of their employees. To do that, acknowledgment must be communicated daily.

1. Personalize your recognition and make it sincere Make sure your recognition is personal and sincere. Recognize specific results and behaviors and how they help your department or organization.

2. Enhance quality The more you recognize and reinforce positive behavior, the harder your team will work to get that recognition. Look for every opportunity even the small ones.

3. Be specific Rather than saying "Thanks for a great job," identify the behavior and how it matters. By showing employees how and why we appreciate their work, their own feeling of self-worth is increased and they are more likely to continue the desired behavior.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP

A key to successful leadership is following a consistent pattern of interacting with your team. Effectively handling difficult situations while increasing the performance of your work group can make the difference between your success and mediocre performance. The following are five key principles for successful leadership.

1. Always focus on the situation, the problem, or behavior — not the person.

2. Build the person's self-esteem.

3. Establish and maintain a constructive relationship.

4. Take initiative to make things better.

5. Lead by example.

HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A MOTIVATING ENVIRONMENT?

Morale is defined as the "...willingness to perform assigned tasks, cheerfulness and discipline." We often think that morale is tied directly to productivity when productivity is high, then morale must be high, whereas if morale is low so goes productivity. While there is a relationship between the two, morale can be more accurately tied to the relationship between the manager/supervisor and the employee.

Morale and motivation are often used synonymously. Motivation is the reason "why people do the things they do." So how can you motivate people and keep the morale level high? Unfortunately, studies have shown that you really cannot motivate another person. Motivation comes from within it is a result of a person's individual perceptions, needs, and desires. People can only motivate themselves. Having said that, it is important to realize that supervisors can have a direct impact on an individual's motivation by creating an environment within which a person will want to motivate him/herself.

Motivation can be defined as the act of getting a person or a group, each with his or her own distinctive needs and personality, to work to achieve the organization's objectives, while also working to achieve individual objectives. This is very different from manipulation, which is a process that moves people toward ends that the supervisor desires without regard for the feelings and needs of the employee. Manipulation often uses threats, short-term rewards, or promises. True motivation must be done with respect for the other person. It is accomplished by linking what the individual desires with the specific goals, tasks, and behaviors that the job requires.

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing — that's why we recommend it daily."
— Zig Ziglar

SESCO Management Consultants is available to assist with your human resource issues. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .