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Employee Recognition

Praise for a Job Well Done (1009 Words)

Recognition and praise for a job well done

Praise for a Job Well Done

Praise for a job well done! Was the response most frequently given to me during my six-month Employee Loyalty Survey in 1995. At seminars across the country, I asked attendees to tell me the one thing that would improve their company loyalty. Present, were of all levels from entry to executive, and recognition is what American workers want most!

I believe most executives, owners and managers secretly yearn for employees who have an emotional ownership in their company.Employees that operate as if they owned the company and always looked out for the company’s best interests. Unfortunately, few are willing to do what it takes to cultivate this emotional ownership. Often, I hear managers saying that loyalty is too costly.  But, how much does it cost to say, “Good job” or “Thank you?”  Not a cent!  The cost is the manager giving of him or herself–and to some, that price is too high.  I have found that a little bit of recognition goes a long way.

Cost Effective Employee Recognition

Praise for a job well done, find creative ways to recognize your team. Don’t let your creativity limit you, ask your employees what they might like. Ask colleagues what they have done. Listed below are 50 “easier” low cost recognition ideas offered by my seminar attendees.

  1. A visit from the president.
  2. E-mail from the president.
  3. Notice to all employees of a special performance.
  4. Letter of recognition in employee’s permanent file.
  5. “Highlighting Employee” section in company newsletter.
  6. “Well Done” pens.
  7. Company coffee cup.
  8. “Attaboy or Attagirl” stickers.
  9. Paid time off.
  10. Recognition at meeting.
  11. Flowers.
  12. T-shirt.
  13. Lunch with the president or other executive.
  14. New title.
  15. Balloons.
  16. Gift certificates to local restaurant, theater or video/DVD rental store.
  17. Flex time.
  18. Special parking space.
  19. Private verbal praise.
  20. Team pot luck celebration.
  21. Choice of work assignments.
  22. Certificate of Appreciation.
  23. Cookies.
  24. Team congratulatory song.
  25. Selecting the workplace radio station for a week.
  26. Come in late or get off early card.
  27. Get the workplace recycled soda cans for a month.
  28. Hand shake and “Thank you.”
  29. Company specialty advertising items.
  30. Boss for a day.
  31. Care package to spouse or children of employee.
  32. Wash employee’s car.
  33. Food: all-day suckers, pizza, donuts or maybe something healthy.
  34. “Get Out of Meeting” card.
  35. Free vending machine privileges for the week.
  36. Lotto tickets.
  37. Gold star on desk.
  38. Facial, pedicure or massage.
  39. Cater breakfast at employee’s desk.
  40. Party at owner’s or executive’s home.
  41. “We’ll do it Your Way Today” card.
  42. Software, special keyboard, new chair, etc.
  43. Notice about employee accomplishments in local newspaper.
  44. Assign additional responsibility.
  45. Guaranteed quiet/thinking time.
  46. Include employee in decision making.
  47. Decorate office for holidays.
  48. Lunch or dinner at long meetings and training classes.
  49. Listen to the employee.
  50. Encouragement.
  51. Allowed to attend a seminar of their choice.

In The Art of Partnering I wrote about Management By Partnering Around (MBPA). I believe MBPA is the best possible solution to greater productivity.  This applies to anybody who considers them a manager or better yet, a leader. Use Ken Blanchard’s model from the One Minute Manager, find employees doing things right and give them a “one minute praising” on the spot. What a great way to build relationships.

Partnering with Employees, Praise for a Job Well Done 

When I suggest partnering around, I’m simply suggesting that you create mini-alliances throughout your organization with employees, teams, executives, and others. As in networking, your goal in MBPA is to get to know as many employees as possible. Next, learn their strengths, weaknesses, and their interests. This knowledge will allow you to successfully put people together using the “Adaptive Organization” model. It will serve you well by unleashing employee creativity and more effectively utilizing their unique abilities. And don’t forget to offer them praise for a job well done.

If you will commit to MBPA, you can add my favorite recognition program to all your other incentive or motivational workplace programs.Rigsbee’s Recommended Recognition Program is that of offering negotiable corporate tender. The benefits to this recognition system are: Immediate and customized recognitions. We all want to know how we are doing. Who would not like their “reward” customized to their individual preferences?

Employee Recognition Certificates, Praise for a Job Well Done

Too expensive you say–not at all!  This is the best deal in town if you do it correctly. Print recognition bucks assign a value and hand them out when you catch your employees doing a great job. It’s praise for a job well done. Who should hand out the certificates?  It should be supervisors, managers and executives/owners.

Assigning the value is a bit tricky. You want them coveted by the employees but not so valuable that your managers are hesitant to hand them out.  An Air Force major I met in Alaska assigned the value as a paid day off but for most companies it is too valuable. Managers are much less likely to hand out days off than a coffee mug.

First look at what you already have that would create value in the lives of your employees, vender freebies, specialty advertising items and so forth…excellent praise for a job well done.  Then see what toys can barter for within your community and then post a list of “recognitions” and assign how many certificates needed for redemption. One certificate might be worth a paid hour off or a T-shirt. Two certificates might get your employee movie tickets for two or lunch at a local haunt. Five certificates might get a company jacket of paid vacation day. Play with it, put up new postings each month of the newly acquired goodies. Be creative, always add something new to keep the program fresh and your employees guessing.

The Employee Recognition Program Works, Praise for a Job Well Done

This program only works of the supervisors, managers and executives/owners will give of themselves to find employees doing things right and reward them for a job well done. Take a risk and try it. All you have to lose is the productivity your not now currently getting.Whatever method you select for recognizing your employees, the important thing is to start now. Praise for a job well done is always an important step.

Expectations

New Year Expectations (1330 Words)

ExpectationsExpectations…how did you celebrate the beginning of the New Year? Did you simply stay home and take it easy, attend a huge celebration or travel to an exotic location? Did the celebration meet your expectations? In my opinion, how you bring in the New Year is far less important than what you plan to do in it!

As a child, I remember looking forward to Easter. This was when I got a new pair of shoes and new clothes for Easter Sunday. One year, it didn’t happen. I didn’t get my new shoes and clothes. I was completely disappointed, and to this day I carry that memory. While I do not let the memory immobilize me, it’s still there. People, organizations, places and events can easily fall short of one’s expectations. Often expectations of others are unrealistic.

Perhaps you might have similar memories in your brain’s old tape file. If you do, hopefully you don’t let them immobilize you. What about your New Year’s eve experience? Was it what you thought it would be? How did you feel when there was no bolt of lightning in the sky to usher another thousand years of Western civilization? This “feeling” of unfulfilled expectations can cause a myriad of complications in your life if you allow it to. When did you last allow unfulfilled expectations to immobilize you? How did you get out of your funk?

Expectations & Behavior

Life can be quite challenging when your expectations are not met. What are your expectations for the New Year? Expectations come in all forms, for your business, for yourself and for others, just to name a few. Since you really do not have control over others, I’d suggest that you don’t put much energy there. Where you do have control is over your own behavior decisions. Your behavior choices set both an example and expectations. What behavior decisions will you rethink?

It is the behavior decisions in our lives that determine our achievement, not the perceived limitations, like the childhood memories I mentioned earlier. Or, even worse, what some ill intentioned teacher might have told you about your “limited capabilities” back in high school or some other institution. With this said, what are the possibilities for the next thousand years? Who knows? More importantly, what are your possibilities for the next twelve months? You are accountable to fulfill your own expectations. As a business owner, manager or executive, you also are accountable to assist your employees in achieving their expectations. What will you do differently in the New Year?

At the schools my sons attend, large banners are posted by the school district with their motto, “High Expectations = High Achievement”. I suspect these are really posted for the benefit of the district’s teachers. If the teachers have high expectations of their students, then hopefully they will also have high expectations of themselves. With high expectations of themselves, the teachers will deliver the kind of quality education necessary for their students to excel. Then, and only then, can the students reach their own expectations. Think about yourself as the teacher and your employees as the students. What could you do differently that would create value for your employees?

What Do You Want?

Frequently, in my seminars, I’ll tell attendees that the definition of insanity is doing what you’ve always done but expecting different results. The dawning of every New Year is a wonderful opportunity to make new behavior decisions. The break makes change psychologically easier. The subconscious accepts the new decision easier. What new behavior decisions will you make?

High on my list of recommendations is adopting the behavior I like to call the Partnering Paradigm. This is a paradigm of synergy through cooperation. It applies to your business expectations both externally and internally. It also applies to your external and internal personal expectations. In business, seek external partners to develop strategic alliances. Select partners that have complimentary core competencies to those of your company. This will give all involved the best chance for developing synergies that will create value. Internal to your company, look for new strategies to help your employees have the Emotional Ownership necessary to act as if they were an owner, to take intelligent risks essential for business growth. See my article titled; Praise for a Job Well Done (www.rigsbee.com) for low and no cost employee recognition ideas.

To help your employees develop alignment with your vision, find your company’s stories. Look for your stories that illustrate the behaviors you wish to be repeated. Retell these stories regularly to reinforce desired behaviors. Make the stories part of your culture. Achieving a successful shift in company culture takes time, please be patient. What changes would you like to make in your company’s culture?

Control Yourself

The person you choose to be is the key to all that I’ve been saying. Your internal conversations that you have with yourself are what determine your behavior decisions. To achieve your personal expectations, you must control your behavior. When someone says, “They made me do it.” My rebuttal is usually; “I don’t think so!” Unless there is some kind of a chemical or hormonal imbalance in your physical body, YOU CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOR. If you do have a physiological problem, seek professional help and let those around you know what’s happening. They will be more tolerant, patient and understanding.

In your personal life you also have internal (to the family) behavior issues. I find this a regular challenge in my own life. Both balance issues and how I interact with my family. I frequently catch myself allowing the communication with my teenage son to be mostly negative in dealing with my expectations of his behavior. As behavioral issues of children must be handled, also positive relationship bank deposits must be made for their emotional growth to take place. What personal behaviors must you adjust so you can meet your own expectations?

The external behaviors I mentioned in your personal life generally include extended family, friends and your community. How to you treat people? How do you give of yourself? Year-round, I donate time in my community as a youth soccer referee. How do you “show up” or personally get involved in your community? You say you’re too busy? As a colleague, Ira Blumenthal, (in reference to youth sports) says, “You can build fields or you can build prisons.” Behavior decisions in your life define who you are, a giver or a taker. We already have plenty of takers. What we really need is more givers. If you aren’t already, will you become a giver?

I’ll not ask you to make a New Year’s Resolution because most resolutions fade by Valentine’s Day, or sooner. My hope for you though, is that like the Phoenix rising anew from the ashes of devastation, you allow the New Year to be your symbol for change and rebirth. Never again in your lifetime will you have such a symbolic opportunity for renaissance. The decision of indecision is for the pathetic. William James, in The Principles of Psychology (1892) stated, “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.”

Adopt Partnering

The decision to adopt a new Partnering behavior can create enormous value in many areas of your life. In business, new synergies (the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts) will become possible. These synergies will become evident both externally and internally. In you personal life, a new Partnering (or cooperation) behavior will bring you closer to the ones you love and care about. You will also find a new feeling of balance in your life.

So, what are your expectations? Will you resolve to make the behavior decisions necessary to satisfy your expectations? What are my expectations? I’ll tell you. This year, I expect to double, from last year, the number of people I help in making new and different behavior decisions for their lives. I wish you the best of success in making notable behavior decisions.