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Employees Need More Than a Job – 3 Tips That All Start With R

Happy employees – rewards, recognition and respect

Employee Rewards, Recognition and Respect

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to work in the yard with my sons. We were preparing our Summer garden. As with any preparation getting rid of the weeds is critical.

I usually assign each son an area to work in and tell them when they get their section done they can play. While weeding, a friend of two of my boys came over to play. My boys shared with him their task and he decided to help them so they could get done earlier and go play.

I suggested to my 11 year old son that he would need to reward him somehow for helping them. His comment in a proud tone was, “I am, we are making sure we get him water when he needs it.” I kindly encouraged him to do a little more.

A number of years ago I wrote a post titled “ Beware Managers and Employers – You Better Treat Your Employee’s Right or Else…” I shared the following:

“”I will never forget an experience I had several months back. I was asked to provide some consulting and development for a highly dysfunctional senior leadership team. We were discussing some of the morale issues their staff were having when one of the senior leaders said “I don’t think morale and motivating people really matters. Given the way things are people should just be lucky they have a job.”

After picking my jaw up off the floor I responded: “you better think it matters because when this thing turns around (talking about the failed economy at the time) guess where your employees will be going; right out that door to your competitor!””

Leaders have to do so much more than simply remind employees they are luck to have a job. They have to do more than ensure they have just the basics to get along, like water. If we want higher productivity, loyalty and happy staff – we have to go the extra mile.

These 3 R’s help:

1. Reward and reward frequently. Rewards can include money, movie tickets, trophies, gift certificates, cake and ice cream, lunch, time off and a number of other things. Find out how those you lead like to be rewarded and then reward!

2. Recognize and recognize frequently. Recognition is different than rewards (though recognition can be considered a reward). Rewards are often linked to money, recognition is linked to something more personal. It can include a handwritten note, a positive comment, praise in front of peers or other leaders etc…

It is important to ensure that recognition is timely, specific, genuine and consistent.

3. Respect and respect frequently. Respect is a product of caring. The more you care about those you lead, the easier it will be to give respect to those you lead. Remember, if those you lead don’t feel respected, you may find yourself less respected as well, resulting in a diminishing ability to effectively lead.

By rewarding and recognizing those you lead, you go a long ways in helping them feel respected.

If it was as simple as just providing a job or giving water, there wouldn’t be any competition in hiring. Remember; to acquire and hold on to the best and brightest, you must also be the best and the brightest.

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