Friday, September 2, 2011

Lean Quote: People Want More Recognition

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition." — Bob Nelson

Despite popular belief, money isn’t the best way to recognize superior performance. In fact, research from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the number-one reason people leave their jobs has nothing to do with pay or promotions -- they leave because they "don't feel appreciated."

Most managers only practice recognition after the fact – which is rewarding people for achievements. Rewards are great, however they are only a trade (first you achieve something and then I reward you for it) and they only cause short term motivation (if the rewards stop coming, performance will decrease as well, because the trade is out of balance).

But if you can recognize them before the achievement you can engage them. It makes them feel heard, valued, involved and important. Recognizing how people like to be treated; what training, information or tools they need to do their job; what their ambitions, talents, personality type and motivational drivers are, helps us to respond to them in a way that brings out the best in them. All this assures sustainable motivation.

Employee recognition is a powerful tool to sustain high performance levels in your employees. It is also a channel through which you communicate to your employees the kind of actions and attitude you like them to execute. Thus, you establish the performance patterns that enhance productivity and render you a competitive edge.

Does your company have an employee recognition program? One that works to engage, develop, and reinforce the highest level of performance from everyone.

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  1. Can you recommend any books to help with employee motivation?

  2. Nothing specific comes to mind but there are a number of great resources on this site that can help with various ways to motivate, recognize, and reward employees.