Why a ‘pat on the back’ matters
Is employee motivation important? Let’s look at a few scenarios and decide. A competing company has a 64% better operational performance than your business. Their employment engagement level is 117% higher, customers are more satisfied and returning regularly, and your competition boasts a return on assets nearly 10 times higher than your company’s performance.
Certainly they must have more manpower, an endless line of credit for new equipment or the pay their employees pennies, right? Not according to Management Issues. In fact, the tips and advice website notes that the companies that demonstrate the signs of success mentioned above, are simply giving employees what they want – recognition.
Managers in nearly every industry have long fought the idea that employee motivation stems from a paycheck. And while your workers undoubtedly want to be paid fairly, more than that, they want a pat on the back, a genuine ‘thank you,’ for their hard work.
As a manager or business owner you want to be fair to all of your employees, but that doesn’t mean you can treat them all the same. Each worker brings unique skills and thoughts to the table, so it’s important to be able to point out exactly what you appreciate from an individual’s contributions. Don’t ignore positive performance until an employee’s annual review. Make it a habit to show informal appreciation when you know a team member is going above and beyond what they’ve been called to do, or if you recognize a developed skill.
When you recognize hard work, you voice it, knowing there’s also a benefit to you. When you recognize the contributions of others, you highlight the type of behavior you want to see again. When people feel they are making a difference and their work is recognized will be more likely to go above and beyond in the future. As the leader, you’re responsible for empowering your team members to realize their own potential. To do this, you need to verbalize your trust in their abilities.
The Numbers Speak For Themselves
In The Gratitude Diaries, Janice Kaplan explains how Americans view gratitude by citing a recent survey of 2,000 workers. The report reveals 81% of respondents said they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss. Did you catch that – eight in 10 of your employees will work harder for a simple pat on the back. In addition, 70% said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly.
If retention is a challenge at your company, or you simply want to keep your best workers, consider what a recent Glassdoor survey found: more than 50% of survey participants said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss. Employee rewards like a catered lunch, holiday party or a day off are always welcome, according to about 40% of survey participants, but genuine appreciation is one of the strongest ongoing motivating factors for today’s workers.
Truly the very basics – ‘thank you,’ ‘I appreciate your hard work,’ or ‘You’re doing a great job’ – can be the best employee motivators. Business management expert Tom Peters said it best, “People don’t forget kindness.”
Reward Geek – Employee Motivation Made Simple
There are many ways to motivate employees. Our online employee recognition software is one! Call us today for a free demo and Q & A session with our team.