Put in to your employees what you expect to get out, because performance is driven by acknowledgement.
We hear a lot about what drives employee performance. Employers look at bonus programs, employee feedback strategies, and a wide range of other points that can lead to heightened performance. While there are different strategies out there to help a leader to get the most from their staff, acknowledgement is one of the key drivers.
Here are three ways to motivate employees through recognition.
Financial incentives are an obvious motivator for a lot of professionals. In some fields, it may be appropriate to align financial compensation directly with output, but in knowledge-worker industries this is not always the best strategy.
Instead of tying compensation to performance, pay your employees what they are worth from the beginning. If you’re hiring top professionals that have the necessary skills and knowledge, their base salary should reflect that. You’ll also ensure the relationship starts off on the right foot.
Even when employees are given a fair salary, there’s still room for the occasional bonus. You give employees bonuses when they have achieved a major goal, or when they’ve performed in a way that truly demonstrates their growing value to the company. When employees are paid fairly at the outset, a bonus feels like a bonus rather receiving what is already due.
While financial compensation never goes astray, leaders should also vocalise their appreciation for employees. They need to be told that you recognise their contributions to the company. This kind of feedback will build an internal motivation among employees, and they will continue to perform well as they seek further recognition of their work.
When your employees never receive the necessary feedback, or they only hear negative commentary, they have no way of knowing when they’re doing well. Employees need to know what success looks like so they have a benchmark. Otherwise they will inevitably become frustrated and unsatisfied in their work.
By providing employees with a range of positive and constructive feedback, you’re helping to define the notion of success for them. Along with that, positive feedback can boost morale and relieve some of the frustration and stress that comes with not knowing how you’re performing.
Recognition of Growth
When it comes to acknowledgement, things like financial compensation and adequate feedback are just the beginning. A good employee is going to grow into new roles and advance their skills during the time they work for you.
You may see that the continued growth of an individual has led to a transformation. The person has moved from being a relative novice to an outright master. Maybe they’ve moved from being a team member to a team leader.
These stages in an employee’s professional evolution deserve recognition. When a person knows their efforts are being recognised, it can change how they operate and the way they view their place in the company.
If you want to get the most from employees, and help them to grow into the best professionals they can possibly be, you need to give them the appreciation and the acknowledgment they deserve. By providing recognition, you’ll do more than just improve performance in the short term. You’ll encourage the kind of growth that will in turn contribute to the overall success of the company.