Monday, 9 March 2009

Motivation Bite Size - Recognition

Most people come to work wanting to do a good job. And when they do a good job or try their best to do so, it is vital for their manager/leader to recognise their efforts and achievements. In short, it is incredibly motivating when people receive deserved recognition and incredibly de-motivating when they don't.

And here’s the thing, it is also incredibly easy to recognise effort and achievement and yet, many managers/leaders do not do enough of it, enough of the time. When the pressure is on to get the job done, as it invariably is, it is all too easy to focus on correcting errors and mistakes, adjusting and improving output or simply to place more demands on staff. Nobody is suggesting these things should not be done but let’s not forget the old adage – a little bit of praise goes a long way!

The easiest way to recognise effort and achievement is by conducting regular one-to-one review meetings and highlighting areas where performance has been good or exceptional. But there are other less formal ways too. A simple ‘thank you’, ‘well done’, ‘you’re a star’ or ‘I really appreciate the effort you have put in here’ all tick the recognition box. If you have the budget, the odd gift (maybe presented at a team meeting) won’t go amiss either. And if someone has really gone the extra mile, why not send them a simple thank you card to show them that there effort is appreciated. Do not underestimate the impact of someone receiving a thank you card from their boss in the post, especially when that person has put in extra effort or produced exceptional results.

Perhaps the only note of caution in all this is to ensure you are being fair and objective with the whole team. Don’t leave yourself open to accusations of favouritism but at the same time, those working the hardest and producing the best results deserve to be praised.

Recognising the effort and achievement of your staff is incredibly easy to do. Are you doing enough of it?

Simon Cooper heads up ELC Training Solutions and is author of the best selling leadership development book, Brilliant Leader.

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