Praise is a POWERFUL Motivator for your team

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Studies show that employees perform at a higher level when praised for doing a great job, or going beyond the call of duty.

I don’t want to play closet psychologist, but we all know this to be true. When playing a sport in high school, we wanted to do well so that our coach would praise us in front of our peers, we would get recognition from our teachers, our parents would give us a pat on the back and a heartfelt “I’m proud of you.” Who wouldn’t want to be praised?

We can look to the work done by Abraham Maslow on the Hierarchy of Needs that employees have – one he pointed to was  recognition from superiors/authority on a job well done.

As a high school girls basketball coach over the last decade, I’ve noticed that my teams perform at a much higher level when players are praised for doing things well instead of making mistakes. Just today this point got driven home again:

 

I asked one of my former players who had graduated from my team to a higher level team in our program She had gone from being a rock star on my team to the bottom of the totem pole on the higher level team. I asked her why she had become so quiet, reserved, cautious, and timid when playing on this new team.

Her response:

Coach Barry, my new coach yells at me every time I make a mistake. I’m afraid of making a mistake. He scares me because he gets so angry. All he ever does is criticize what we do. I’ve never heard him tell me in the last year anything positive.

 

boss_beating_fist_on_his_desk_hg_whtDoesn’t that story want to make you cry? What if that was you? What if it was one of your kids? Imagine how your employees feel when all you do is criticize them and seek out every little mistake to call to their attention, humiliate them in front of their peers, and basically rip them a new one by threatening them about their job security.

Do you think maybe their confidence might be down a little? Do you think they’re going to give you their best effort?

If they are good performer, they’ve already got one foot out the door since top talent doesn’t need your job. And when they lose respect for their immediate boss, they can’t wait to leave. They always have great opportunities knocking on their door.

If they are below the top talent level, they just become ROAD Warriors: Retired On Active Duty. You’ll never get an ounce of productivity from them again. They basically shut down.

So, here’s my key question:

What type of formal programs does your company have in place to provide praise as the most important element of a non-monetary reward and recognition system?

If your company is like most other companies, then praise is something that’s basically left up to each individual manager to do as he/she sees fit. We all know that being crowned with that manager title, instantly makes you a great motivator of people.

Okay, if you don’t believe that – why is praise, recognition, and non-monetary rewards systems absent in most companies?

When will you start researching, benchmarking, and implementing praise into your recognition programs to start raising employee motivation?

Have you used our 8-Point Retention Matrix to verify you're doing everything you can do to keep your best people?  If not, click hear to download this self-assessment tool for checking your retention capability score.

Barry Deutsch

Let’s NOT train our staff so they’ll get picked off for better jobs

Are providing enough training and development to keep your employees engaged?

 

I was conducting our Speaker Program on retention titled “You’re the Person I WANT to Keep” and we were at the section on discussing how training and development is a powerful element of employee satisfaction and engagement.

One of the CEOs in the room blurts out “Why should we train our people – we’re just preparing them to be stolen by our competitors”

I was so stunned at this remark, I was for once at a loss for words. Then, an even bigger shocker took place: Some of the other CEOs in the room actually started nodding their heads in agreement.

What have to come to where we are so afraid of our employees leaving, that we're willing to lock them in the basement, put our thumb down on top of them, and crush their future capability?

Is this perspective dysfunctional or what?

NOT training your employees is a sure way to lose them. NOT providing opportunities for learning, development, and personal growth is one of the major reasons 50% of your workforce is logging onto job boards trying to see if the grass is greener somewhere else.

Training the heck out of your workforce is one of the best ways to “recruiter-proof” your company. I know you’ll lose a few people over time to competitors; however, you’ll keep a far larger group.

Perhaps, most importantly, the value training brings extends far beyond just keeping people. Your workforce becomes more skilled, knowledgeable, and capable than all your competitors. Productivity goes up. I can’t begin to quantify the value of a well-trained workforce.

What’s your training investment? How much of every revenue dollar goes to training? Does every employee have a personal development plan for formal training, e-courses, webinars, projects, on-the-job skill training?

When you are planning on making training one of the core elements of your culture?

Barry Deutsch

Retention – Bah Humbug! My Employees Love Coming to Work

Your employees might start kicking down the door to leave

Here's the biggest myth of retaining great people: They show up every day – my employees must love their jobs.

Be prepared for the shock of your life!

I'm re-running one of the most popular blog articles every posted. Most CEOs and Executives reading this article in the past, were suddenly gripped by fear, extreme anxiety, and an urge to take action.

This article was a WAKE-UP call to start focusing on how to retain your best talent.

 

Some of your Best People Are Waiting to Kick Down the Door to Leave

What are you doing right now to ensure your company is capable of retaining your best talent as the job market expands?

I can't predict whether the job market will bounce back into a vibrant job market – in 6 months, 12 months, or 18 months. However, it will bounce back.

You might say “Barry, we have very low turnover and I'm not concerned about losing some of our talent to competitors”.

I would contend that since there are very few jobs available, most candidates have hunkered down and are waiting out the job market depression. Of course you don't have turnover issues now. Plan on having those issues within the next 12-18 months.

 

Job Market Trends Raise Your Risk

We need to recognize a few factors and trends at play in this job market.

First, the tools for candidates to find jobs has increased dramatically.

Secondly, the tools for companies to find candidates have increased, particularly through social media channels.

Third, employee satisfaction is at one of the lowest points since the Great Depression.

These combined factors are unique for the coming job market improvement.

I'm waving my hands in the air sounding the alarms of a dangerous combination of factors regarding your employee satisfaction and available jobs. Perhaps, you'll write this off as the little boy who cried “wolf” too often. Perhaps, you'll read this blog post, pull your management together, and start implementing programs to proactively raise your retention capability.

 

Procrastination, Denial, and Complacency

In my workshops and seminars to CEO groups and management teams, I've noticed that many companies might be at risk to lose some of their most critical and important talent over the next 18 months. As I jump back and forth across the country in my presentations, I am stunned at the lack of attention being given to structured retention programs.

Perhaps, many company executives feel that since there are no jobs available, there is no need to invest in retention programs – as in “our employees are not going anywhere.”

What if 1 or 2 of your top performing engineers, sales reps, or pivotal executives suddenly walked into your office and resigned tomorrow? Do you have a back-up plan in place? Maybe you've been working on a succession plan? What if the 1 or 2 leaving triggered a brain drain or exodus of talent?

 

Review Retention Best Practices

I would like to suggest it might be time to review your current retention programs to update, improve, enhance, and implement changes to ensure your best talent does NOT leave as the job market rebounds.

Some best practice areas to focus on:

  • Culture – is there dysfunction in your culture? Have you surveyed your employees for their satisfaction levels?
  • Feedback – do you have a rigorous process for One-to-Ones for coaching, development, and success-based leadership?
  • Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognition – top talent only performs to a standing ovation. Do you have a series of programs aimed at supervisory, team, and company-wide non-monetary recognition?
  • Acceptance of Mediocrity – top talent wants to be in a success-based environment. Can you claim that you've embedded success-based management principles in the fabric of your business?
  • Learning and Development – how aggressive are you pushing learning, training, and development throughout your organization? Your best people will stay in an organization that helps them grow at a high rate.

Here’s a great question that might keep you awake at night:

What are you doing right now to improve your ability to retain your best talent over the next 12-18 months?

Do you feel any level of fear, anxiety, or an overwhelming urge to wrap your arms around your best talent and express your gratitude they are still part of your company?

Have you used our 8-Point Retention Matrix to verify you're doing everything you can do to keep your best people?  If not, click hear to download this self-assessment tool for checking your retention capability score.

Barry Deutsch

Using Non-Monetary Rewards to Retain Top Talent Part 2

Part One listed four of seven things companies can do to retain their top talent without spending a lot or giving increases in compensation.

The first four from Part One are:

1) Verbal Praise

2) Achievement Awards

3) Learning and Development

4) Fun and Recreation Events

Each of these can be done at the department or company level.  Each demonstrates a culture that rewards people for outstanding effort, provides a positive culture, and a culture that signals respect for the employee.

The last three are:

5) Company Wide Attention This is a step up from department rewards and recognition. This is at the company level. It is great to be honored or recognized by one's boss, however, when it is by the CEO or at a company level it is a completely different experience. Examples include, recognition in the company newsletter or on its Website, the up front parking space, a picture on the Wall of Fame, recognition at the annual staff meeting, a medal of distinction, any seemingly small thing for exceptional performance, for performing beyond the call of duty or an event that demonstrates extra effort.

It is often these small things that have the biggest and lasting impact.

6) Impactful and Meaningful Work This is one of the biggest reasons top talent contact executive recruiters. Top talent must be constantly challenged. They want to know what is expected of them. When clear direction is consistently lacking, they become frustrated and disengage. However, when top talent have a target to hit they will not only engage but strive to hit the bull's eye.

Giving your best people additional  challenges doesn't mean you have to constantly be expanding their responsibilities. There is a lot of  ground between saying, “That is your job and that is all there is.” to time-to-time challenging them with a special project, taking something off of your desk and giving it to them, allowing them to serve on an ad hoc project, stretching them with some strategic thinking, or involving them in an inter-department project. We find that all it takes is as little as 5% of top talent's time to be focused on impactful and meaningful work to make a difference.

7) Feedback This seems so obvious but many managers fail to do it. This is not the “good job” feedback discussed earlier. This feedback is at a much higher level. This is feedback that all top talent want and few get. This is what we call, 1-2-1 time. These sessions can be as short as 20 minutes a month. These 1-2-1 sessions focus on their growth, on improvement, build rapport, show genuine interest by the manager, and give time to demonstrate a personal interest in that individual. In our experience, when a manager takes the opportunity to conduct a 1-2-1 on a regular basis, the employee feels a part of the organization. They have the opportunity to be involved in the department, they can give and get feedback, participate, and be heard by their supervisor.

The 1-2-1 can be one of the most powerful experiences for an employee and their supervisor and it can be done in just 20 minutes a month.

Doing one or all of these seven things can dramatically impact your department or organization. In these difficult times any one of these will cement the loyalty of those top performers to you and your company. They will stand by you in difficult times and excel in great times

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

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Using Non-Monetary Rewards to Retain Top Talent Part 1

As a recruiter for almost thirty years, I have interviewed and spoken with thousands of candidates.  More often than not, compensation isn't the reason we are able to get them interested in a new opportunity. Most of the time compensation is a secondary concern. In fact, both myself and my partner, Barry Deutsch, have a long standing policy that if compensation is the issue, we will not work with them.

With our candidates, their primary concern is focused on non-monetary issues. Most of the time it evolves around their boss or the company. This is not to say compensation isn't important to them, but it isn't the primary motivator to listen to a recruiter.

The reverse is also true. When potential candidates decide not to listen to a potential opportunity, it usually isn't because they feel they are overpaid and that no other company will pay them as much. Rather it is generally that they have a great relationship with their boss and love working at the company.

After listening to so many potential candidates turn us down because they were so happy working where they are, we have come up with 7 things  these companies consistently do to create a culture that retains their talent. You don't have to do all of these, but if you aren't doing any of them you might want to reconsider.

1) Verbal Praise – These companies give what we call, “Standing Ovations” for outstanding performance. They take the time to recognize when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty. They also give praise  or even a simple thanks when someone does a good job. This is sincere praise and thanks, not just given as a matter of fact.  The contrast is a culture in which the employee's performance  is viewed as, “just doing their job” or “isn't that what we pay them to do.”

2) Achievement Awards – Another form of praise. These achievement awards are earned. It is not about sooner or later everyone will get one, so everybody feels good. That loses all of their meaning and significance. These awards take different forms in different companies. Some examples include a reserved parking space, employee of the month, a trophy prominently displayed in the person's office, certificates, mention in the company newsletter, a pin handed out by the CEO, lunch with the CEO and executive team, take a break and cake on Friday afternoon, etc.  The important point is that the employees appreciate the recognition and don't take it for granted.

3)  Learning and Development – Top performers want to continue to learn and develop their skills. Does your company encourage on-going learning for your employees? This might include giving them some time off to attend classes, bringing a topic expert in to speak to a group, allowing them to attend a workshop, have an on-line training program they can complete, or encouraging involvement in professional association and trade associations. These types of programs generally don't take a lot of time or can be performed outside of working hours and the ROI to the company can be huge.

4) Fun and Recreational Events – My daughter works for a private university. They recognize that they don't pay at the industry level. They overcome this in many ways, but one way is that either her department or the administrative team will do some fun thing that takes an hour or two. Some examples include, a putting contest in the office, a picnic at the park for lunch,one time her department took off an hour early to go see the filming of the Tonight Show, they went bowling during lunch time, they will take a few minutes late in the day and play a game of charades or Pictionary, etc. These are just fun things that make it a great place to work. To the workers this is worth making a few dollars less because they enjoy the people and their efforts are recognized.

Part 2 will cover the final three non-monetary rewards you can do to retain your best talent.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard