The 46th anniversary celebration of Star Trek, the original series, was Saturday, September 8, 2012. The anniversary of Star Trek and many other memorable life events like; birthdays, graduations, weddings, job promotions etc., should be rewarded, savored and appreciated for what these events represent. For the most part these significant life events represent victory to some degree and perseverance in some cases. This same perspective can and should be encouraged in the workplace.
There are significant achievements every day on some level in all organizations from small to large. Please do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that every little accomplished task be rewarded. To digress ever so slightly, that would be like rewarding a child for making their bed. Making up the bed was expected in the household in which I was raised. Therefore taking this concept of rewarding behavior and tasks in the workplace should be left to the achievement of significant job and project objectives.
Most people are familiar by now with the concept of management by objectives (MBO). MBO’s major focus is setting attainable, reasonable, and measurable goals for employees to achieve. The theory relies on the fact that people will excel when standards and expectations are high. One major component associated with this strategy is a reliable reward/recognition system. Rewarding employees for achieving critical objectives, bench-marks, and/or specific goals is extremely important.
The most effective recognition programs utilize multiple modes of recognition and reward. Additionally, successful recognition programs involve recognition and rewards on both individual and group levels. For example, Convex Computer Corporation a supercomputer company based in Texas recognizes and rewards employees on all levels on a quarterly basis. The vice president of operations for Convex recognizes employees that have been nominated by managers as having gone above and beyond the call. On an annual basis Convex employees are given the opportunity to nominate fellow co-workers for the Customer Service Award. This award is given to recognize nominees’ achievements in areas such as:
- Over-all customer service
On a departmental level recognition comes in the form of team or department T-shirts, coffee mugs, banners, or pictures. Supervisors occasionally issue movie tickets, provide Friday afternoon bowling parties, time-off, or cash to reward exceptional employees for such accomplishments as:
- Early completion of projects
- 5-years of perfect attendance
- 3-months defect-free assembly
If you don’t believe me, believe 1,500 employees nationwide who were surveyed to discover the most effective workplace motivator. The result of the survey found that employees are motivated best by systems that incorporate employee recognition. This is consistent with the human trait that when a behavior is immediately rewarded with recognition following the specific behavior, the tendency for the behavior to be repeated is increased. Therefore, when objectives or related goals are achieved by employees then recognize and reward those employees in a timely manner.
What do I learn from all this? Set up a consistent employee recognition program and the long-term health, growth, and profitability of your business will greatly increase.Tweet