Leadership Fails: Positive Reinforcement and Recognition

It is advisable that employee acknowledgement be ingrained in the culture of the business and not simply an act of ingenuine communication. Indeed, employee acknowledgement is a communication device that reinforces and rewards the most significant results that employees are responsible for. When leadership identifies employees competently, it strengthens, with its selected means of acknowledgement, the activities and behaviors it most desires to see in the employees it manages. A productive employee recognition system is simple, immediate, and powerfully strengthening. When leadership addresses employee recognition methods, it will need to develop a recognition program that is identically powerful for both the employer and the employee. A solid plan for inspiring and rewarding employees for significant contributions should be significant for a business lacking an initiative to make such matters indispensable for employee moral and business profitability. It is imperative that leadership set up criteria for what presentation or contribution constitutes rewardable conduct or activities.

Identify the criteria for Recognition

The challenge of criteria based goals is to make certain their accomplishment is swiftly noted and rewarded since it’s expected the employee is currently feeling good about their performance; your timely acknowledgement of the employee will enhance the affirmative sentiments and this, in turn, affirmatively affects the employee’s confidence in their proficiency to do well in your organization.

  • All employees should be eligible for the acknowledgement.
  • The acknowledgement should provide the employer and employee with specific information about what behaviors or actions are being paid for and thusly directly indicative of the employee’s value to the business.
  • Anyone who performs at the grade or benchmark stated in the criteria obtains the pay.
  • The recognition should occur as close to the presentation of the activities as possible, so that the acknowledgement reinforces conduct that employers desire to boost.

With a constant set of criteria applied to the applicable employees, leadership will effectively abstain from conceiving of a process in which managers choose the employees who will receive recognition, for this approach undermines the purpose of recognition by replacing the company wide criteria for a system based on favoritism. For this reason, the process of seemingly arbitrarily singling out an individual, such as “Employee of the Month,” is seldom fruitful.

Examples of Recognition Criteria

A business began establishing criteria for rewarding employees. Criteria encompassed such undertakings as contributing to the business success by assisting a client without being aided by a supervisor during the process. Each employee who met the criteria obtained a letter of appreciation that was hand-written by leadership. The letter identified why the employee was obtaining the acknowledgement and in addition, encompassed the opportunity for the employee to “draw” a gift a from gift bin. The gifts ranged from gift cards for local restaurants to reasonable increases in pay. The outcome was desirable because the businesses aim of isolating the behavior of assisting a client without being micromanaged increased the efficiency of the employees, and therefore the bottom line of organization.

On the other hand, if leadership expresses gratitude every time an employee assists a client with or without help from their supervisor, then the reward becomes a grant that is expected for doing the basic essentials of the job description and therefore no special behavior is being acknowledged. That is, it is counter-productive for leadership to reward an employee for the very same reason they are receiving a particular salary. For example, in another organization, the CEO officially bought lunch for all employees every Friday. Shortly, the CEO found that she had employees coming to her inquiring to be reimbursed for a meal that occurred outside of the business on a Friday. Indeed, her good intention but lack of solid criteria caused a misunderstanding of the purpose of her providing lunch. Her goal of establishing a reliable team of the hardest working employees turned into a grant or a claim on valuable resources owned by the company.

The Letter of Recognition

Employee acknowledgement is worth the time and the money a business spends on it. Leadership has no other device at their disposal that so predictably aligns employees with company goals. From acknowledgement and express gratitude you notes to bonuses and presents, employee acknowledgement is good for workplace motivation and conceives positive employee morale. Your choices for employee recognition are numerous. Every year, some businesses give bonuses to employees who contributed throughout the year. After a business takes the attenuating factors including business profitability, the anticipations of economic factors and their past practices, they should address providing bonuses for employees.

If leadership cannot sanction cash bonuses, a sensibly priced gift such as company merchandise can work well as gifts. If a gift is not on the horizon – and it may not be for governmental employees, for instance – at the very least, adopt the custom of composing letters to employees for acknowledgement and to express gratitude them for their assistance.

The note should identify exact employee contributions, which goes a long way in assisting employee identity in the business. In fact, an acknowledgement letter that accompanies a bonus or gift magnifies the recognition. Employees who treasure such gratification will keep their letter in a place where they view it frequently, such as their office or cubicle.

An employee recognition note does not need to be complicated but it is most effective when the employee recognition letter:

  • Expressly describes the behavior that is appropriate.
  • States “thank you” and that the employee assistance is treasured.
  • Is in writing and sent as close to the date or time of achievement as possible.
  • If handwriting is not an option design a customized looking email is customized that avoids a template or form look.

Leadership should not underestimate the power of an employee who receives a letter of acknowledgement from an individual who is the arbitrator of their effort expended at work.

Employees desire to be thanked and appreciated every day. But a stronger appreciation is a targeted effort of the company to reward and motivate employees to work at their maximum output levels. The foundation of this thriving connection is the leader’s proficiency to make employees feel and actuate themselves as relevant to the company’s growth strategy. This is critical when a leader’s achievement is reliant on employees respect of them. That is, a constant portion of leader’s activities should be dedicated to communicating worth to employees. When leadership ties acknowledgement to business growing accomplishments and aims for the accomplishment to be performance based, it raises a bar to a level that all employees must reach.

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