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Blog posts of '2013' 'July'

Recognition for Motivation in the Workplace

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it."

 

Employee motivation has become an important practice in an economy that requires organizations to produce more results, with fewer resources than ever before. Studies show meaningful employee recognition awards encourages workers to buy into the success of the organization, rather than using management tools to manipulate employees into better performance.

 

 

The Benefits of Employee Motivation

 An excellent definition of motivation is, “the inner force that drives individuals to achieve personal and organizational goals.” Studies reveal that companies that provide relevant employee recognition programs have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that do not.

The theory explains that companies making persistent efforts to recognize good work have happier employees. It is consistent with B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning psychology, which indicates that people who are rewarded for good behavior are more likely to repeat it. Consistent and meaningful recognition will build a stronger company over time.

People need to be respected and treated as a primary weapon for a company when gaining the competitive advantage. All gains toward a company’s growth and prosperity boils down to the work of employees, and the manner in which a company treats its staff can determine the overall success of the organization.

Organizations are constantly enhancing and improving their operations. In doing so, they are realizing that a direct relationship exists between the overall performance of an organization and that of individual employees.

 

What Motivates Employees?

Learning what motivates is a key objective for management. A manager cannot be successful without  a dedicated, supportive team, so  keeping employees engaged in the work, offering support, and assuring they have room to grow within their jobs and the organization  are essential to bringing out their full potentials.

 

Project managers or lower-level corporate managers might not have the decision-making power or resources to provide large financial incentives or bonuses, but one of the most effective ways to reward employees for good performance is by simply recognizing their hard work and accomplishments.

 

Complimenting employees in the presence of a more senior boss or offering the chance to present the team’s work to higher management can make a difference. It conveys to employees that their work is appreciated and trusted, and that management supports their efforts.

Recognition awards should be individual and specific to each employee. For some employees, public recognition will provide the most praise, such as presented during a large company meeting, followed by  a round of applause. But for other employees, public recognition can be an awkward embarrassment. The latter type of employee would much rather praise came in a private, one-on-one meeting. For a manager to be an effective motivator, they must understand that staff will respond to different types of praise or acknowledgment and adjust methods according to the individual.

Recognition does not always have to be verbal. A letter or email written to the staff member can be just as effective. A manager may want to copy higher-level corporate officers to the correspondence so the employee knows the praise is reaching management.

Another nonverbal way of recognizing an employee’s efforts is to present them with keepsakes such as  trophy or plaque awards. Custom awards can be engraved with the employee’s name and other information regarding the project, or can include employee’s contributions and accomplishments. These can be given privately or presented during corporate awards ceremonies.

Regardless of how they are presented, such gifts will recognize the efforts of the employees who receive them, hopefully motivating the employee to go even farther in his job performance. As the employees succeed, so does the company.

Organizations realize significantly better results when they frequently recognize employees’ performances in the forms of praise, even more so than simple monetary rewards.

Constructive Praise

 Although the evidence points to better outcomes when employees are frequently recognized for their work, it is important to make recognition meaningful and to do it is actually deserved.

It is true that all employees’ efforts should be recognized; the simple fact that they have their jobs should be testament that they deserve recognition at some point. But it is important to only recognize the efforts that are truly remarkable or the compliments lose their effectiveness.

Praise should also be specific. Rather than simply telling an employee that their work is appreciated, go a step further and name specific instances where their performance made a positive difference for the team.

 

Culture of Recognition

An employee’s direct manager is responsible for a healthy amount of recognition. Besides, it is the manager who observes and evaluates an employee’s performance and compares it to the rest of the team’s members.

Often an employee’s coworkers also have a clear vantage in understanding the daily work of their counterparts because they “work in the trenches” together.

 Although it can be tricky to mandate employees‘ recognition of each other’s efforts and accomplishments, it can be encouraged by taking the time during a meeting or other gathering to ask employees to give examples of when they noticed coworkers putting forth extra effort. There can also be a designated bulletin board or other area where employees can post such praise for their coworkers.

Peer recognition takes some of the responsibility of recognition off the manager’s desk, but it also fosters a more cooperative team atmosphere in which employees learn to recognize successful behavior and strive to duplicate it.

 

Recognize Often

Now that we have examined the relationship between recognition and motivation, how often should it be practiced? As long as recognition is specific and deserved, it should be granted as often as possible and it should granted consistently.

 

 

If you’re looking for an excellent way to show an employee how much your value his or her time and appreciate the work he or she has done for your company, visit EDCO Awards and Specialties for all employee awards needs, including trophies, plaques, acrylic awards, name badges and more.

5 Tips for Effective Employee Recognition

Research shows nearly four out of five managers believe that motivating employees is one of the primary duties of their roles as leaders; nearly two-thirds say it is becoming more difficult to do. Three out of four also say they must change their approaches to how they motivate their employees. With a variety of ways to motivate employees, it is important to effective recognize their successes with a method that is effective and beneficial to an organizations overall performance.

 

Recognition That Works 

87 percent of organizations stated that their recognition programs are geared toward acknowledging tenure. Clearly, recognition for tenure not only eliminates performance, it turns success in an organization into something for which one waits, rather than something to be achieved.

Furthermore, many believe that today’s workforce should expect to live a life of learning, perhaps with three or more careers. A large number of highly skilled, vastly experienced — “tenured” — workers lost their jobs and saturate the hiring pool. Tenure-based recognition would slight those employees who may have decades of education and experience and these individuals may end up choosing to work for other organizations, possibly even competitors.

Having a recognition program can have a positive impact on voluntary turnover rate and the overall performance and welfare of a business.

Here are some simple tips organizations can use to target their recognition programs effectively:

 

1.     Knowing the Employees

Effective leaders — whether corporate officers, lower-level managers or football coaches — should know each person that works under their lead. This includes knowing what types of recognition will best motivate each staff member.

Does the person find it pleasant to be cheered on in the company meeting, or would he or she find it embarrassing or awkward? Perhaps, a one-on-one presentation would be more fitting; each employee has his or her own personality and it is up to the manager to figure out each one.

 

2.     Recognize Accomplishments Often

How many people feel over-appreciated by their employers? There probably are not a lot people dealing with that problem at work. They should be.

To a leader, the staff of an organization should be looked upon as its top asset — that which truly sets a workplace apart from its competitors. Their work deserves to be recognized. In fact, leadership should create a culture of recognition in which all managers and staff are supported and encouraged to recognize each other. Sometimes the most meaningful recognition can come from peers, rather than management.

 

3.     Meaningfully Recognize Staff Achievements

Saying “good job” to an employee who deserves it is pleasant but it does not recognize what the employee achieved that was so “good.” Nonspecific praise like this just seems like the manager does not really care about the employee’s efforts and it also wastes a motivational moment to teach other employees how they, too, can emulate the actions of the successful employee and receive equal recognition.

Recognition should be specific. More effective praises for successful employees might be the presentation of a plaque award or crystal paperweight that has the employee’s name and accomplishment engraved into it.

 

4.     Trust Is Recognition

People have impressionable senses of self-esteem. If leadership believes in its employees, they will, too, and individuals will be more motivated to succeed based on wanting to maintain that trust. Managers need to show their trust to enhance an employee’s confidence in their abilities.

 

For example, granting autonomy and acting as an encourager, rather than controlling the project gives room for employees to take ownership of projects and decide how best to finish them.

 

Not only should leaders allow employees the space to find their own success, but management must also accept when employees fail. Professional growth occurs in both success and failure.

 

Recognition awards or custom banners with messages of encouragement can be a whole lot more effective motivation than micromanaging employees and controlling all aspects of a project.

 

5.     It Doesn’t Need to be Expensive

Many leaders make the mistake of believing that recognition has to include cash rewards for it to be motivational for an organization’s employees. Actually, cash rewards can backfire because they attach a numbered value to an employee’s efforts which can become complicated when future projects require more work but have lesser dollar amounts attached.

 

People wish to be appreciated, not treated like numbers. When an employee makes an extra effort to help the team or the organization, that employee will respond much more positively when the specific effort is recognized.

 

 

A more thoughtful recognition gift than money might be an engraved pen, a plaque or acrylic award or other custom corporate award. These types of recognition permanently tie the employee’s success to the successful project and reinforce the connection between the employee’s personal interests and those of the organization.

 

EDCO Awards and Specialties can be the solution to inspire and acknowledge successful employees.. Since 1969, EDCO has provided quality motivation and recognition tools for any occasion. From sports trophies, to corporate awards and promotional items, EDCO carries all types of awards for any organization’s corporate needs. EDCO’s products are fully displayed on its website and can be customized and shipped in a week or less in most cases.

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