Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Won, I Won

A lot of supervisors think that what motivates them also motivates everyone else. That's simply not true. Everyone is different. You didn't hire clones. If you're going to hold a public presentation of an award for one of your staff, you may just be DE-motivating them. If they don't like public attention, they may just fall back and punt, not wanting it to happen again.

As far as awards and motivation goes, take a queue from The Walt Disney Company. They do something that more organizations should think about doing (one of many). When a new castmember (employee) is hired they're given a survey which asks them how they like, and don't like, to be rewarded and what motivates them. By doing this, their supervisor can tailor, to that particular castmember, the way they're rewarded. You need to know this information because some people just don't like to get up in front of a crowd to receive awards - but then again, some people thrive on it. Again - too much public recognition can be DEEEEE-motivating.

It's commonly believed that money is the biggest motivator for employee's. Nope. A number of research papers over the last few years have proven this wrong. Sure people like money, but they also like recognition, education, career development, and influence.

Two of the most important types of recognition programs you can have are peer and customer. It's very easy and cheap to start a peer recognition program where co-workers can nominate others for going above and beyond. A certificate and maybe a gift card is all you'd need. It goes a long way.

Customer recognition is another biggie. If you have ANY means of receiving customer feedback in which employee's or teams are named, SHARE IT with them. They can then see that what they do really matters to someone other than the boss.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure that your motivation techniques and rewards always revolve around organizational goals. Employee's often attribute their success to how they're able to contribute to the organization.

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