Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reward Staff When You See Them Doing Great

"Men do not value a good deed unless it brings a reward." ~Ovid

We were helping one entrepreneur who said he never recognizes and rewards good behavior because he is afraid that for every good thing he sees, there could be several bad things that he does not. When asked about it, he said, “If I say anything about good behavior, I may not have the opportunity to reprimand the employee when they do something wrong.”

When I heard this statement, I honestly almost fell out of my chair. I was shocked to hear this from him because I had thought he was a great manager! The sad thing about it is that he thought he was a great manager too.

If you are really going to be a great manager, I believe that you must recognize good behavior whenever you see it. After all, one of the objectives of a manager is to make sure their employees feel good about what they do. Good behavior must be recognized on the spot in as public a manner as possible.

So many managers tend to hoard these complements, not realizing that there is no limit on the amount of rewarding they can do. When our children were small, we repeatedly read them a story about “warm fuzzies” and “cold pricklies.”

The story said that we have the capacity to dole out endless amounts of either of these. The ultimate message was that we should give out “warm fuzzies” at every opportunity as they make other folks feel good. “Cold pricklies,” on the other hand, make folks feels bad. Managers should apply this same theory to recognizing good behavior among their employees.

Many managers refuse to give out “warm fuzzies” because they rarely got anything from the people around them. However, they must learn to give rewards, or their staff will not respond very well to them.

There is a school of thought among some managers that an employee should get their reward from simply doing their job. However, as human beings, we need to be told that we are doing well and are appreciated. Remember, your staff spends more time with you than they do with their families. Sure, they are paid, but every employee needs to be rewarded as frequently as possible.

Just recognizing good behavior is great, but you must do so with true sincerity, otherwise the message will not be heard. To illustrate, take this for an example. How many times have you had a restaurant manager stop by your table and ask how your meal was, all the while demonstrating about as much concern as a golf club would? The point is that with any type of reward, it must be done with sincerity and honesty.

As I go around helping businesses, I often can tell which ones make their staff feel good just by watching their employees interact with customers. If you start being conscious of your employees’ good behaviors and rewarding them accordingly, I promise that the morale of your business will improve dramatically.

Now go out and make sure your management team has made it a high priority to reward good behavior when they see it.

You can do this!


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