Improving staff motivation by recognising staff as ‘valued contributors’

staff motivationAre the managers in your business looking for ways to improve staff motivation (and improve how hard their staff work!)? A recent Globoforce report, Workforce Mood Tracker September 2011, states that 69% of respondents say that they would work harder if they felt that their efforts were better recognised. Their research also uncovered several themes for how to implement successful recognition programmes including:

Recognise staff as ‘valued contributors’

Here’s what Globoforce say:

Recognizing employees more frequently and specifically for their behaviors and contributions reminds employees that company leaders also see them as valued contributors. Or, as one respondent commented, as reason to improve the recognition program is ‘to have happy employees that feel they are being valued as human beings not just for work’

Makes sense? So, how do managers recognise staff as ‘valued contributors’? How do managers value their staff as ‘human beings’? Here are three steps that could help improve staff motivation

Staff Motivation: How to recognise staff for their behaviours and contributions

1. Define the behaviours and contribution you want to recognise

Very often managers focus their attention on defining (using performance objectives and targets) the ‘quantifiable’ elements of their staff’s job. So they set objectives for the volume of work produced, the £ sales targets met, the deadlines met and so on.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with that! Some of the contribution we need from staff are quantifiable. But, if managers only define the quantifiable element of their staff’s job then it follows that managers will only manage, and recognise, the quantifiable element of the job – the ‘work’ element.

The reality is, not only are behaviours crucial to the success of our businesses but managing and rewarding behaviours is crucial to staff motivation and satisfaction.

2. Monitor behaviours

Once managers have defined and agreed the behaviours they want their staff to demonstrate, they then will need to monitor those behaviours (in the same way we would monitor any other aspect of our staff’s performance). By monitoring the behaviours managers give a clear message about how much they value those behaviours (which, of course, has a very positive impact of staff motivation). There are three key ways to monitor behaviours:

a) Observation – watching the staff member ‘in action’

b) Report back – having the staff member report back to the manager examples of positive behaviours

c) Feedback – collecting feedback on the staff member’s behaviours

3. Praise the effective behaviours

One simple way to recognise ‘frequently and specifically’ the staff member’s behaviours is to give them some specific praise about their behaviours. If managers follow steps 1 and 2, it’s simply about giving focused feedback based on their monitoring of behavioural performance against the agreed behavioural performance objectives

(Read more on how to give praise here)

Staff Motivation Summary

As we can see from Globoforce’s research, recognising and valuing employees for their behaviours is crucial to both staff satisfaction and staff performance. The easiest way to identify, recognise and manage employee behaviours is by using behavioural performance objectives. Read how to use these types of objectives  HERE 


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