Employee Recognition: More frequently, Please, and Link it to Core Values

Companies are turning to employee recognition as an internal strategy to boost employee engagement and positively impact such metrics as productivity, ROA, ROE, and retention of both employees and customers. For example, companies that have a formal strategic recognition program in place had a voluntary turnover rate (i.e. people choosing to leave) of 14%, vs. 18% for those who don't. Here are several guidelines to make your recognition more impactful: Tie your recognition not only to … [Read more...]

Another Angle on Employee Motivation

It's the end of regulation time in a soccer game and the score is tied. It's time for the shoot out to determine the victor. You are the coach. How should you advise your five shooters, each of whom will get one shot at close range? "I want you all to concentrate on our scoring at least three times", OR "I want you to concentrate on our not missing more than two times." You first reaction is probably like mine, the first option, of course! It's a positive message, a positive objective, … [Read more...]

Dial Up the Underdeveloped Ego

I don't know about you but it pains me to see so many people in organizations not contributing near to what they are capable of. Many of course, for any multitude of reasons, just don't want to, thank you very much. They are satisfied with average, with just enough. That's a topic for another time. But many more would like to accomplish more, go higher, be more successful (however they might define that), but they don't because they don't believe they can! These people are locked into what … [Read more...]

Ultimately, It’s Got to Be About Something Beyond You

How many of your employees are simply not engaged any more? Are there some who seem to just be going through the motions of their job? Yeah, they show up every day. They do the essential tasks. They don't miss deadlines or cause any major screw ups. But something is clearly missing. The spark has gone out of them and out of their work. They no longer speak up in meetings. They no longer volunteer to take on the additional project, to go the extra mile. Maybe they are just plum bored. The … [Read more...]

Give Me Something (or Someone) to Connect to

There is enough research on Employee Engagement to show that engaged employees give more "discretionary effort" (going above and beyond job expectations…without being told/asked) to their employer. Yet levels of engagement have not changed over the last ten years or so, through a period first of  boom, then of bust. Consider this data from the Gallup organization. They surveyed around percent of employees who are (1) engaged, (2) not engaged, and (3) actively disengaged. Check the trend since … [Read more...]

Every Job Matters (to Someone)

Recently I heard a presentation by Jim Gibbons, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries. In it he said that "every job matters." Every job has someone relying on the incumbent of the position to do their job well so that the other person can either: benefit or do their own job well. Your client/customer is either internal or external.You serve (or produce for) the external client or someone who delivers to the external client. This is true whether you operate in the private, … [Read more...]

Do We Stop Growing after Schooling?

I ran across a recent posting from the Gallup Management Journal that made a point have I never thought about before: "Raised through a childhood in which each new year brought novel opportunities, playing at ever more difficult levels of sports, growing physically, educated in a system of cleanly delineated grades -- freshman, sophomore, junior, senior -- many employees find themselves several years into their career wondering what happened to the momentum they used to enjoy. Being both … [Read more...]

One Employee at a Time

Back in the 90's the Royal Bank of Canada had a series of TV commercials touting the theme, "Building a Better Bank, One Customer at a Time." The message, as I recall, was that RBC treats each customer as a unique individual and strives to win them over, one-at-a-time.   I frequently refer to this ad campaign in my management development workshops. The parallels are natural… RBC has customers, current and new. Managers have employees, current and newly hired. RBC seeks to … [Read more...]

(Re)Frame their Job as Something that Matters

Richard Florida is a provocative thinker around social and economic issues. He first became noticed from his book, The Rise of the Creative Class. In his latest book, The Great Reset, he shares data that the future growth of jobs will be in two areas: (1) knowledge, professional and creative jobs and (2) lower paying, more routine work in the service sector. Citing progressive companies like Wegman's, Whole Foods, REI, Zappos, Nordstrom, and The Container Store, his thesis is that work in the … [Read more...]

Look Beyond the Money for their True Motivators

In PwC Saratoga's latest Global CEO Survey, 65% of CEO's report that they intend to use more non-financial rewards to motivate their staff. This is an admission that the a motivation strategy full of mostly financial reward "carrots" is not enough, especially for their highly skilled and high potential employees. We so easily forget the fact that people are looking for at least some measure of fulfillment from the time they spend on the job. "Fulfillment," of course, can take many forms: … [Read more...]