Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
At a university lecture, I asked the students to guess what provides the biggest motivation for employees. Their answers were as follows:
They missed the most impactful and efficient factor. Until recently, I did as well.
You gain initial satisfaction when you get a salary increase or a bonus for the first time. It only lasts for a short while.
The next time you see that increased amount, you will take it for granted. The next time a bonus is due, you will likely expect the same one; if not, you will be disappointed and demotivated.
What does motivate you?
So, what works?
Not only does it work for everybody in every culture, but it also provides a surprisingly high ROI.
Would you like to know what provides:
- 8% increase in revenue
- 26 times more engagement
- 3% higher retention
and costs nearly nothing?
I am almost going to disappoint you, as it is so simple.
Sometimes, indeed, the solution is more straightforward than we think.
Let me tell you what is: recognition.
Is that simple?
Yes and no.
Is it so easy?
Appreciating people and telling them so works with everybody in every culture.
However, there are a few things that are proven to be counterproductive:
- Criticising people the whole year and giving them just one compliment at the end of the said year
- Giving them financial rewards without appreciation doesn’t work, as people feel you are buying them.
- People can detect your intention: if you only do it as a trick to get better business results (as accurate as they can be), the employees will doubt your intention and not believe your world.
In conclusion, I leave you with 5 ways to build a strong recognition culture:
- Be amazed at our people, discovering their abilities, personality and skills.
- Tell them as soon as possible how great they are
- Show your appreciation with a personalised gesture (the keyword is not the value or price, but the personal attention)
- Show your appreciation of individuals and groups publicly
- Ensure that counter messages and wrong intentions do not contradict your message of recognition.
- Employee Recognition: Because rewards mean more when they come with thanks, Globoforce Limited, 2019 (https://whc.workhuman.com/PPC_ROI-of-Social-Recognition.html)
- 36% Of Employees Say Lack Of Recognition Is Top Reason To Leave Their Job, Forbes, 2019 ( https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2019/03/01/36-of-employees-say-lack-of-recognition-is-top-reason-to-leave-their-job/)
- The top three demotivators of the workplace: lack of recognition, feeling invisible or undervalued, and bad managers, PR Newswire, 2018 (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-top-three-demotivators-of-the-workplace-lack-of-recognition-feeling-invisible-or-undervalued-and-bad-managers-300735823.html)
- Is a Lack of Employee Recognition Damaging to Company Performance? TLNT, 2012 ( https://www.tlnt.com/is-a-lack-of-employee-recognition-damaging-to-company-performance/)
- 6 ways keeping your team and yourself motivated (https://swissleadersgroup.com/6-ways-of-keeping-your-team-and-yourself-motivated/)
- Strategic performance for your Executive Team
- 17 Laws of Teamwork
- Managing team FAQ
- Team collaboration FAQ
Graphic: Alexandr Mindryukov