Bersin by Deloitte reports that nearly 40 percent of all recognition programs are more than 10 years old, and 87 percent are built on a foundation of rewards for employee tenure that have no effect on organizational performance. According to Dr. Bob Nelson, a best-selling author, recognition expert and motivational speaker, “Today’s employees may not need a pay raise as much as they do a personal thanks from their manager for a job well done.”
It’s critical for managers to understand what rewards drive productivity, retention and high performance, so here are Dr. Bob’s Top 10 Motivators for Today’s Employees:
- Personally thank employees for doing a good job — one on one, in writing, or both. Do it timely, often, and sincerely.
- Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to employees — as much as they need or want.
- Provide specific feedback about performance of the person, the department, and the organization.
- Strive to create a work environment that is open, trusting, and fun. Encourage new ideas and initiatives.
- Provide information on how the company makes and loses money, upcoming products and strategies for competing in the marketplace, and how the person fits into the overall plan.
- Involve employees in decisions, especially decisions that affect them.
- Recognize, reward, and promote people based on their performance; deal with low and marginal performers so that they improve or leave.
- Provide employees with a sense of ownership in their work and the work environment.
- Give people a chance to grow and learn new skills; show them how you can help them meet their goals within the context of meeting the organization’s goals. Create a partnership with each employee.
- Celebrate successes – of the company, of the department, and of individuals in it. Take time for team- and morale-building meetings and activities.
WHAT CAN I DO? Regardless of whether you are a manager or individual contributor, you can take this list to heart, and use these rewards with your direct reports and co-workers. In the words of Doug Conant, Former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” As a leader, if you understand what rewards drive high performance, winning in the workplace will follow.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.