Friday, June 23, 2017

Lean Quote: Brains, Like Hearts, Go Where They Are Appreciated

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.

"Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated." — Robert McNamara, Fmr. American Secretary of Defense

Entrepreneur.com recently released an infographic all about why employees quit their jobs. 82% of employees polled report they don't receive enough recognition. There is nothing like pouring your time and heart into a project just to have it go unnoticed and unrecognized by management. It can make employees question why they worked so hard in the first place, and convince them the grass would be greener somewhere else.

Did you know that employee recognition can be one of the best forms of retention? In fact, employee recognition can be thought of in terms of a positive feedback loop. The formula is both easy to remember and easy to put into practice: Employee recognition equals employee productivity equals management gratitude. 

The more employees know that their efforts are appreciated by management and the company as a whole, the more they'll strive to do great work. Employee recognition benefits both the staff and the business itself in several ways:

Benefits of Employee Recognition for Workers

Greater motivation: Employees who know they stand to be rewarded for outstanding performance approach their jobs with greater enthusiasm and creativity. The opposite is unfortunately true: Not being appreciated is commonly cited by departing employees as a reason for moving on to a business where they feel their efforts are more likely to be recognized.

Peer acknowledgement: Chances are, employees who get word of a coworker’s achievement will take the time to offer their own congratulations. It’s hard to image an employee who wouldn’t welcome the acknowledgement.

Empowerment and inclusion: Employee recognition programs can make staff members feel more connected to the company rather than just the recipient of a regular paycheck. That moves loyalty beyond just a financial appeal.

Benefits of Employee Recognition for the Business

Reinforcing positive behavior: If employees excel, others will notice. That can help others raise their performance in hopes of being recognized as well.

Lowering stress levels: If the emphasis is on the positive rather than an overriding concern about snafus, employees are likely to feel less overwhelmed about their job responsibilities.


Increasing customer retention: Higher employee motivation levels typically carry over to satisfied customers and clients. Those you do business with inevitably notice employees who bring a commitment and enthusiasm to what they do. Unfortunately, a disgruntled or frustrated employee can stand out to customers just as much.


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