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09 16th, 2014

thank you

A “Thank You Habit” lets everyone in the organization know you want to acknowledge good work. Executives want to be informed when good work happens, so they can personally say thank you.  This in itself builds good will, and a helps build a culture of trust.

Set aside time every week to acknowledge people’s good work.

  • Handwrite thank-you notes whenever you can. The personal touch matters in the digital age.
  • Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.
  • Remember to cc people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”
  • Foster a culture of gratitude. It’s a game changer for sustainably better performance.

Create a process for recognition

All you need to do is create a simple process for any individual in any location to feed a suggestion for recognition of a peer up the management chain

Make it personal

Commit that when a thank you request comes in, an executive will personally say thank you to the individual, whether that is by a drop-in, a phone call, or a handwritten note, not and email. 

It costs nothing 

Many organizations over-engineer their recognition programs.  Make a genuine connection with someone who has done something you appreciate and let them know.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.



08 5th, 2014

achieve success

Are you on the lookout for those truly remarkable employees?  Following are 8 employee traits that you should look for in employees and when you find them, find a way to keep them.

You might argue that about some of these traits, but many would say that these are the qualities that make a good employee great and great employees truly remarkable.  This list is not ours, it came from a blog post by Jeff Haden a year or so ago; you can see other useful employee information from Jeff Hayden here.

The 8 qualities that make up such a difference between your good and truly outstanding employees are:

1. They ignore job descriptions…they think on their feet and adapt and change quickly to shifting priorities

2. They’re eccentric… people who aren’t afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. But they know when to dial it back…the best employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off

4. They publicly praise… Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain…remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won’t…remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong… education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re always fiddling…great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better.

As we say in the title, when you find employees like this recognize them – often!

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.



tug of war

Over the years we have seen companies ascribe many different objectives to employee recognition or incentive programs.  Programs that don’t work well or produce results have at least one thing in common… when the participants don’t perceive the objectives are attainable, they were doomed to fail from the beginning.

When you are in your planning phase here are some things to keep in mind that incentive or recognition programs can’t address.  Avoid them if at all possible:

  • Don’t be lulled into the comfort level that every participant can achieve results.  The 80/20 rule is alive and well in any incentive program.  You’ll have the top 10% of winners just like you’ve always had, and you’ll have the bottom 10% that fail like you’ve always had.  But the middle 80% can be moved to improve performance. 
  • Periodic incentives are not a substitute for good feedback to your participants.  Regular feedback should be ongoing.  The more you measure and report performance, the better performance you will have.  Believe in the adage that “What gets measured gets done and what gets rewarded gets repeated.  
  • You can’t use incentives as a replacement for enforcing policy, although you can make the enforcement a qualifier for participation. 
  • Incentives or recognition won’t resolve the design of a bad job description or staffing decisions.  When you have issues in staffing or work responsibilities that stand in the way of good performance, an award for better performance can’t be achieved. 
  • You can’t fix broken organizational structures or processes.  Even if you dangled a new car for everyone in the program for achieving results, you’re better off investing the money on the real problem.  If not, your participants are likely to develop their own “workarounds” that can cause further damage. 

Incentive and recognition programs can and will backfire when you aren’t honest about your current situation, business climate or culture.  When you implement your program, objectives that make upper management warm and fuzzy won’t produce results unless your participants know that they are realistic and achievable.  Without that, you won’t have a program, so save the money, and the headache.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.



 

spot recog

When is the last time you meant to tell an employee, “thanks for the great effort, we really appreciate your good work”, but forgot.  You think to yourself that you can tell them later in the day or tomorrow, or by the end of the week.  If you’re like most of us, that can happen a lot.  And by the time you get around to it the enthusiasm is faded and the importance is gone.  When you do, you lose the golden opportunity to affect an employee’s attitude and performance at work.

That’s one reason why an on the spot employee recognition system is so important.  You can award someone instantly when it will do the most good.  Waiting for traditional recognition award systems to kick in doesn’t reinforce the pride an employee feels right after you acknowledge the great performance.  If anything it can show them that their work went unnoticed and wasn’t a top priority for you.

It is well known that good performance will be repeated when recognized.  The more that an employee sees that you appreciate their efforts, the more they will continue to produce quality work.

On the spot rewards can also boost morale.  They can spread like wild fire in the workplace, especially in an environment where today’s employees feel under appreciated.

 OTS_Recog Award_Card_left tilt

 The On The Spot gift card award system was developed for just these type of programs.  For a simple white paper that will give you a brief overview of On The Spot, please click here.



dust off

All the hard decisions that had to be made by management because of the recession still shape the employees definition of what normal really is.  Companies are still dealing with an attitude of getting by with less, spending only when necessary.  Management is wondering why or even if they should invest in employee recognition systems.  Coming out of the last major recession, these types of attitudes persisted for several years.

But employee recognition still matters.  It is still a key element in employee engagement and can help drive increased employee performance.  HR thought leaders understand this and are focusing this investment in recognition to increase the impact on the bottom line.  Suggestions systems designed to reduce overall costs, wellness efforts that have shown to reduce medical costs, safety award systems that can reduce incidents of injuries and accidents, and team based sales and marketing efforts that combine internal support groups and field personnel are all tactics to drive incremental profits.

Now is the time to use employee awards to promote collaboration within cross-functional departments.  Properly planned and implemented reward systems can put your employees back on the offense instead of staying on defense to protect their jobs.  Employee recognition systems can be designed and promoted around encouraging idea creation, innovation and sharing.  They can align corporate goals and objectives into the goals and objectives of your employees.

So start your year off right.  Dust off the recognition system that may have been put on the shelf or gathering dust because of lack of budgets.  If you have some money to spend, you might even want to give each employee a $25 Award of Choice card and thank them for all the time and effort they put in while you were going through tougher times.  You might be amazed at how that simple gesture  can strike a spark that ignites a fire of optimism.