Recognition: A Leader’s Responsibility

Recognition: A Leader’s Responsibility

Have you hugged your employees today?
Well, maybe in this day and age, “hugging” might be misconstrued, but “a pat on the back” is okay. In fact, when it comes to recognition, that’s all some employees may be looking for. And if they do not receive it, these employees may be looking elsewhere.
Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal wrote that the “cost of replacing a good employee ranges from half to several times a year’s pay, depending on the job.” Shellenbarger argues that the cost of retaining them, however, may not be as costly as imagined. While many managers might think their employees want the world, many simply want to be compensated fairly as well as recognized for a job well-done.
Leaders owe it to their employees to demonstrate recognition. As many companies have downsized and pushed levels of decision-making lower, it is imperative that employees who do a good job receive the proper recognition and reward. This is important for two reasons. One, good companies want to encourage their successful employees to continue doing a good job. Two, proper recognition sets up strong patterns of reinforcement that other managers will emulate. For example, not only will other “bosses” get the message, the employee who is recognized will be encouraged by example to do the same for her subordinates when she achieves managerial rank. These favorable behaviors create a culture of positive reinforcement that eventually will permeate the entire organization.
So what are some ideas that enlightened leaders can apply? Try these five:
Make recognition a value… Leadership super mario run hack online is founded upon a system of beliefs or values. The root of those values should be directed outward; after all, leadership involves guiding people (i.e., leading) people somewhere. Part of that outward direction must involve recognition of others.
Create a culture of coaching… Just as all leaders are not born, neither are all good performers. All of us need nurturing if we are to achieve our potential. A good way to bring out the best in people is to coach them: provide them advice, counsel, and constructive criticism. Coaching cultures are “contagious.” When subordinates see a leader coaching or mentoring, they may emulate the behavior. In this way, leaders not only coach individuals they create an entire organization of coaches. Such an environment encourages people to do their best, maybe even take risks, which may in the long run benefit the organization.
Demonstrate flexibility… Most employees want to do good job, really. The more responsibility an individual has, the more likely she will make the job truly personal; she will live and breathe the business as if it were her own. At the same time, all of us have outside lives. Companies that understand their people have family and community obligations are companies that can attract and retain employees who are committed to their work as well as to their personal values. And in the end, isn’t it better to have people with values than those who believe it is their duty to work like drones? I would argue that family-centered people are more productive than employment-centered people because they continually bring new perspectives gained from the outside world to their job. Their outside life instead of being a hindrance becomes an enhancement. Furthermore, a worker who knows he will have time for his family is a worker that can devote his full energies to the job on the job without worrying about family issues.
Recognize effort and contributions… People want to know they are doing a good job, so let them know. It’s not rocket science. How? Write a memo praising an employee or a team and pin it to the bulletin board. Circulate the memo through e-mail. Some managers send thank you cards to employees, recognizing good effort. One manager I learned about sends notes to employees telling them how special they are. Recognition of this kind may seem a little mawkish to some, but guess what? It works. This particular manager works in a service business that is subject to high turnover. As a result of her efforts, she has reduced turnover and increased retention rates significantly. (The cost savings in terms of recruitment and retraining more than pay for the time it takes a manager to pen a personal note.)
None of these may appeal to your leadership style, so find your own. The point is to be proactive. Think about recognition in creative ways.
Reward outstanding performance… Reward, first and foremost, means increase in compensation. Employees who do a god job should be rewarded either with merit pay or a promotion, but sadly such moves are not always feasible immediately.
So what can a manager do in the meantime? Other forms of compensation include comp time for employees who have put in extra hours. Some employers even give hard workers a tickets for two to the theatre, movies, or local sporting events. Some generous employers have been known to spring for cruises or vacations for employees.(This is not the same as incentive trips awarded for specific goals; this reward is additional.) The extra measure demonstrates that you value the employee’s commitment and want to keep them happy. Furthermore, such rewards create and solidify a culture of positive reinforcement.
Rewards may not come cheaply, but then again how much do you value good employees? Are you willing to go to effort and expense of recruiting new workers. Consider the value of good ideas? Can you price them? What if one of them opens a new market, leads to free xbox live codes the creation of a new product, or reduces your operating expenses?… The cost of cruise-or a deck of thank-you notes-pales in comparison.
The most costly element of recognition, however, is not monetary. It is the investment of time, which is something most leaders have far too little of. Yet to ignore the contributions of employees risks far greater costs: loss of enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment. When an employee no longer cares, he is no longer productive, and that is a cost no leader can afford to bear.
Still, if you look at the list of suggested recognition behaviors love this website closely, you will note-as Sue Shellenbarger argued in her article-recognition need not be costly. Valuing employees-and in the process providing coaching, flexibility, and recognition-is not a budget item; it should be a way of doing business that in the long run will pay back to the organization far more than it takes. When all is said and done leadership is not about cost, it’s about creating a culture where people feel valued and appreciated. No leader can argue against that principle.
?1998 John Baldoni