How To Motivate Your Staff Using A Recognition and Reward Programme
Here’s some great advice for motivating your staff from your favourite chartered accountants.
1. Find out what motivates your people
2. Creating your own staff reward and recognition program
3. Creating an “Extra Yard” staff recognition program
What Motivates Your Staff
A challenging question… one that employers hardly ever try to answer. As a consequence, their businesses suffer in their ignorance.
The irony is this: It’s so easy to find out what motivates your people… just ASK THEM! The accompanying worksheet, entitled the Employee Staff Evaluation Review Form, will help you do just that… and a lot more, too!
It will help you tap into a vital knowledge base – that of your staff members. Use it… and let them help you to improve productivity, profitability and morale.
Employee Self Evaluation Review Form
The purpose of this form is to seek your valued opinions. Your candid and honest answers will be treated in confidence and viewed purely as constructive assistance for the advancement of our joint futures.
To complete this form see our PDF worksheet at the bottom of this article.
Creating your own staff reward and recognition program
A successful Staff Reward and Recognition Program will make a profound difference to your organisation.
As well as benefits in obvious areas such as sales, productivity and customer service, there’s also a host of “hidden” advantages, such as increased staff loyalty, lower staff turnover, a happier work environment and much more.
Staff Reward and Recognition Programs can be used for virtually any worthwhile cause. As the name suggests, a good program is simply a means of communicating a desired goal to your team … then recognising and rewarding them for achieving or working towards it.
That means you can run programs designed to promote anything that’s important to your organisation. Safety, sales, cost control, suggestions, new accounts, stock turnover, and profitability are just some of the ideas that have been the focus of previous programs.
You don’t need to be chartered accountants to run similar programs in your own business. And if you’re serious about running your own Staff Reward and Recognition Program, this step-by-step process virtually guarantees that it will be a popular success.
Here’s how to do it…
STEP 1: Define The Objective
As with any worthwhile venture, before you can work out how to get there, you first have to know where you’re going! It sounds obvious, but many businesses go off half-cocked with programs which are poorly focused, and then they wonder why people aren’t excited about them.
This part of the process avoids that problem…In simple terms, you have 2 options.
As Manager, you can first decide what objectives your team or organisation will work towards and then “impose” those goals on your subordinates.
Or you can get your team involved in the process of deciding which objectives should be chosen. We strongly recommend this approach.
By involving your team you’ll enjoy some important benefits. For starters, your team will “own” the ideas that they come up with and so they’ll be far more inclined to “lean in” and get involved with the program.
As well, your team will often come up with ideas and objectives that you would not have thought of by yourself. Remember this point: no one knows how things are going in a particular area as well as the person who actually works in that area.
By asking them what things need to be worked on, you might find that the area you were planning to work on isn’t really the highest priority after all. And instead, you’ll be focusing everyone’s efforts on the really critical issues, rather than something that was only of superficial importance.
So … how do you get your team involved in setting goals for the Staff Reward and Recognition Program?
Well, you might begin by posing this question to your team:
“In order for this organisation to do a better job and be a better place to work, what are the most important things we should be doing?”
“What are the things we should focus on if we want to become the best possible company/department?”
With a little encouragement, your people will soon open up … and probably surprise you with their comments. If you’re working at the organisational level, you’ll typically get answers like:
“We need to focus on the quality of our product”
“We need to cut our overheads”
“We need to improve our customer service”
“We need to get into new accounts and markets”
“We need to reduce our production costs”
“We need to make more sales” “We need to reduce our turnaround time”
… and so forth.
If you’re working with individual teams or departments, you might find they come up with similar answers … plus others along the lines of:
“We need to work better with other parts of the organisation”
“We need to communicate more effectively”
“We need to work more as a team”
“We need to get things done right the first time”
“We need to cut down the time it takes to do our work”
… and so forth.
Either way, you’ll quickly develop an extensive list of things that need to be worked on. If you’re asking for input from a group, you might like to record these ideas on a black board or on butcher paper for everyone to see.
STEP 2: Decide On a Main Priority
The next step is to group and prioritise those listings. That is, see if any of the listings can be grouped together under one “main heading”. For instance, things like –
“We need to work better with other parts of the organisation”
“We need to communicate more effectively”
“We need to work more as a team”
…. might all be grouped under a main heading of “Teamwork”. You’ll find some other theme ideas at Annex B.
By doing this, not only do you often find a “theme” that you can build your program around … but you also avoid unnecessary argument between people who are essentially in agreement but using different terminology. Group headings also give people a clearer idea of what the goal really is.
Once the list has been refined to a number of headings, prioritise them. Again, whenever possible, do this with the input of your team.
One simple way to do this is to get each member to vote for the item they think is most important. The item with the highest vote is the one that needs to be worked on first.
The items which get low votes aren’t discarded — they just get “put on hold” until the highest priority job is achieved … then you go to the next highest priority.
STEP 3: Make The Goal Clear, Achievable AND Measurable.
The next step is to set clear, measurable objectives which will lead you to the achievement of your goal. Remember the old management wisdom: “You can’t expect what you can’t inspect”. Quite simply, if it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed — so it’s imperative that you convert the goal into precise, measurable outcomes.
For instance, let’s say you and your team have decided that your goal is to improve “Customer Service” in the organisation.
Your job now is to find ways to measure performance in that area. You might, for instance, measure the number of complaints, or the time taken to respond to a client request, or the number of lost accounts. Or you might let your clients know that you’re working to improve customer service, and so you’d appreciate any comments — positive or negative — about staff members. This feedback would add to or subtract from a staff member’s score … and this score would be evaluated at the end of each month and would count towards a suitable award.
Similarly, you might organise a system where each department is encouraged to comment about the “service” it gets from the other departments which it works with. This way even the people who don’t get to see an outside customer, can still be a part of a drive to improve customer service. Imagine the difference to your organisation if every member saw every other member as a customer to be served as well as possible!
This is an important point. Where ever possible, run programs which everyone in the organisation can be involved with — even if not directly.
For instance, if your organisation was focusing on “Sales”, you might decide to reward everyone in the organisation if the sales target was achieved. Obviously, this result will ultimately be achieved by the sales people — but imagine the support the sales team will get from the rest of the organisation when they stand to gain too!
STEP 4: Let People Win
Finally, make a point of issuing rewards quickly and often.
People are impatient. They love to get results NOW! So help them do that — by offering small rewards for small and short term achievements which lead to the ultimate goal.
And remember this: monetary rewards are okay … but pay is only what people live on. Recognition and appreciation are what people live for. That being the case, don’t restrict yourself to just financial rewards. Sure, they’re an attractive and worthwhile reward to offer at certain times — but if you offer them all the time, you’ll cheapen their value.
That in turn means you’ll be forced to pay larger amounts to achieve the same level of interest and excitement. And apart from anything else, by focusing only on financial rewards, you run the very real risk of making your people “money hungry”. That is, they’ll only perform if you wave a dollar in their face.
An alternative and equally powerful option is to use ideas such as plaques, restaurant dinners, movie tickets, medallions, lapel pins and so forth. Your people might deny this and say they’d prefer the money, but studies have shown that people will go to extraordinary lengths to get their name on an “Honour Board” or “Achievers Plaque”, or to earn a special lapel pin or coffee mug or some other such recognition device.
Another advantage is that these sorts of ideas are long lasting. If you give someone a cash bonus, it’s gone and forgotten a short time later. But if you install a Board in your reception area which lists the names of all the people who’ve qualified in a particular program … your message is there every day, for as long as you like.
Every single day, that plaque, or print, or board will re-affirm your organisation’s commitment to a particular ideal — to your team members, and to your clients, suppliers and anyone else who sees it. And best of all, these sorts of rewards and recognition concepts frequently cost less than a simple financial reward!
For more information about goal setting see our 10 Commandments of Goal Setting.
Now that you’ve read this Special Action Report there’s just one more thing you need to do. And that’s “ACT!!”
“In the end, the only people who fail are those who do not try.”
Get started NOW!
Creating an “Extra Yard” staff recognition program
During the year, many of our staff and fellow team members go above and beyond the call of duty. Very often, those deeds go unrecognised.
What a shame. What a tragedy.
Fact is, it’s plain old good manners to say #thank you$ to somebody who has put in an extra effort. It’s also highly motivating for staff members to know that their extra efforts are recognised and appreciated.
And, there’s a very #street smart$ reason why you simply must consider implementing some kind of a staff recognition program … MOTIVATED AND RECOGNISED STAFF WORK HARDER AND SMARTER.
That means, extra productivity, extra profits extra money in the bank!
Realistically, you as the boss will not be there all the time to witness all of those extra efforts. But your other staff will be.
This special action report is all about empowering your staff to actively seek out people who chip in and go the extra yard. And it’s absolutely vital to have such people on your team these days.
You see, in business today, it’s not sufficient to be adequate. It’s not good enough to be just #good$. If you want to thrive in the competitive new millennium you have strive to be extraordinary.
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little bit extra. Go find those team members who put in that little bit extra, who go the extra yard.
When you find them, recognise them for their efforts for it is they who will make you and your business or division EXTRAORDINARY.
So, what is an extra yard?
Jack Whitaker the famous American broadcaster once said #In almost every endeavour, success or failure depends on execution and precision. Most combatants have equal talents at both. The victor will be the one who wants it badly enough and is prepared to go the extra yard.$
Muhammed Ali in his more lucid moments said #100% will only match you against the other guy. Only by going the extra yard and giving 110% can you be assured of winning.$
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little “extra”.
So, an extra yard is any effort of a staff member that goes beyond what would normally be expected.
As a result of that deed, another team member or client was assisted.
These steps might be considered.
- The implementation of a procedural system that will accommodate the recognition program
This might require you to meet with several of your key staff to work out a system that will work best for you. You will need to frame up a set of rules and regulations by which the extra yard recognition program will function.
Keep in mind that #recognition$ is the key. Not only should the staff member be recognised by the person to whom he/she has gone the extra yard, they should also be recognised by the entire staff. A recognition wall is ideal.
The BPA example.
At Business Publications Australia, we released our #extra yard$ program at one of our regular staff breakfast sausage sizzles.
All staff were given twelve #extra yard$ certificates and a set of rules for the program. In addition, they were verbally #walked through$ the system so that no details were unclear or fuzzy.
Part of the written instructions as given to BPA staff members included these details:
Filling in the Certificates
You will quickly notice that each of your allotted twelve certificates for the year already have your name printed on them. All you need do is to write in the name of the person who you’ve found to have gone that extra yard, the date of the event and what they did to deserve the award. Neat, legible writing would be appreciated because we want to retain the certificates as a reminder of the deed.
When a certificate has been filled in, kindly hand it to Lisa who will log it into our #Extra yards$ Register.
Lisa will then pin it to our Extra Yards Award Wall … to be located outside her office. You will notice that we have already erected a plaque to honour those people who go the extra yard. The plaque reads…
On this Wall, we honour all of those people who went that “extra yard” in helping the company and their fellow team members during 2005.
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit extra.
Rules of the “Extra Yards” recognition program
- Only twelve certificates will be issued to each staff member for the 04/05 financial year. No more can be issued. Accordingly, they must be used wisely … so keep some of your certificates to recognise that extra yard feat in June of next year.
- We do expect everyone to respect the spirit for which the #extra yards$ reward system was set up. Anyone found to have issued a dummy award purely to get a person into the monthly draw will be banned from the competition totally and all of their certificates will be revoked. #
The linking of some kind of reward to the “extra yard” recognition program.
The quantum of the reward is not important. It’s the recognition process that is. For instance, at BPA we reward people in trade dollars and we do it in a raffle format so that it represents a greater pool of dollars. This also adds more excitement.
Here’s a sample from the BPA written rules.
“The Monthly “Extra Yards” Raffle
“Each month, all the people who have received an #Extra Yards$ Certificate will be eligible for the monthly draw at the rate of one entry per certificate received. The raffle will be drawn at our monthly meetings.
There is only one winner and the prize is trade dollars to the equivalent of $5 for each Extra Yards certificate in the monthly draw.
We would expect that the monthly raffle will be worth around $120 – $150 each month. Let’s work through an example of how this might operate.
Assume an individual received a total of three (3) certificates in a month and all up, some 30 certificates were issued during that calendar month. In this instance, the prize would be $150 and the individual in question would have 3 chances out of 30 of winning that $150.
Recognise your staff for the extra yards they are putting in. The time to start is now!
Click here to download our PDF worksheet.