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Build Better Staff Recognition

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Tue, Jun 06, 2017 @ 04:07 PM

funny motivational speakersA primary way leaders can unwittingly drag down performance is through staff recognition programs.

These programs often trivialize success, create competition and end up recognizing people for work they are supposed to do anyways. It's their job, that's why they get paid. 

We get into the trap of creating entitlement when we start offering perks for work that is built into the job description.

The number one reason people leave their job, is they don't feel appreciated. 

I think people LIKE to be recognized, but they NEED to know that what they do counts and someone is keeping score. Wrapped up in this, employees want to know the work is contributing to something. 

The analogy I use in a motivational speech is, Imagine a supervisor continually asking a team member to work on a project, only to have priorities change and abandon the project. If it happened enough, the employee would no longer put much effort or pride in their work because it doesn't amount to anything and nobody will notice it anyway.

If you work hard every day and nobody notices or keeps track of your progress, it's disheartening. Even worse,  is if the work itself doesn't ultimately make any difference to others.

Build better staff recognition programs by doing regular goal setting, keeping score and tying individual performance to the team and overall progress.

Instead of flaunting random positive praise at team members, have meaningful conversations about progress.  Inquire about the status of what employees are working on, who is involved, what the next milestone is, and how a leader can help.

These meaningful conversations build on success and anchor people to results they know matter to their team.


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