Make Their Day! Weekly Tips - www.maketheirday.com
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Another website that has good items for unique awards is www.uncommongoods.com
Select by recipient - business associate and you will find that most of the items are appropriate for the workplace.
Remember to think about what they individual would value and what symbolism you can provide.
To continue with the theme of showing new employees that they are valued, try the following:
Remember that people who like their coworkers are much more likely to stay and stay engaged. Help them build great relationships from the start!
To continue last week's theme, Show New Employees that They Are Valued, the following tip comes from Joe Pelayo CEO of Joseph Michaels, Inc., one of the top recruiters in the country, and author of the book: Work your Network! www.josephmichaels.com
Pelayo suggests that you "Mail 500 business cards to the hired candidate's home the day he or she accepts the offer."
What a great idea! It sends the right message,costs you very little, and helps to cement the relationship between the new hire and your organization!
The best time to start showing employees they are valued is the moment they are hired. Why not send a greeting card to their home welcoming them to your team?
There are a number of standard welcome greetings out there, but why not make your own? Take a picture of your team that expresses their personality. Get it turned into a card with your message printed inside. Print a bunch.
Then each time you hire a new employee, get everyone to sign (the manager most prominently) and then send it off. You will make a positive impression from the start.
"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." - Peter Drucker
You've provided objectives, matched talent and interest to the project, and ensured that the proper resources are available. Now get out of the way, and let your people demonstrate their competence. Resist the urge to overmanage. Trust that people will do the right thing. It may just be the most motivating thing you can do.
When an employee comes to you with a problem do you do the fast and efficient thing by providing the solution? While it is efficient, this approach doesn't build skills and it doesn't demonstrate to employees that they are valued. Instead, coach them on how to solve the problem and you help employees become more competent and more engaged.
Try asking these questions:
Provide questions, provide resources, but try not to provide the answer. You might be surprised to discover that their solution is more elegant than yours!
Nearly half of all employees plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months. If you lost half of your team what would that mean to you in lost productivity? How much time would you and your team spend recruiting, interviewing, orienting, and training? How much momentum would your team lose doing the work of those who have left, until replacements are hired and up to speed? Can you afford this?
According to a 2005 survey by http://www.salary.com the top three reasons people leave are compensation, advancement, and lack of recognition. You may not have control of the first two but you absolutely have control over recognition.
Yes, meaningful recognition does take time. In return you build a more loyal workforce that pays you back many times over!
Need a rubber chicken, a brain gelatin mold or an Albert Einstein action figure as a token of your appreciation? Check out http://www.mcphee.com.
How about a money machine, whistling gorilla, or a fan that lights up your short, electronic message as it spins? Then http://www.lighterside.com is the site for you.
Both sites have plenty of items that are completely inappropriate for the workplace, so use your good judgment. Happy hunting!
Did you know that employees experience more job satisfaction from communicating their expectations that having those expectations met? Sounds unlikely, but research by Inscape Publishing for their assessment instrument Workplace Expectations found exactly that.
As a manager it is important you talk to employees about their work expectations. Don't be afraid that they will express expectations that you can't deliver on. If they do, you have two options:
Philosopher Martin Buber introduced the concept of I/It, I/Thou. There are two ways to interact with others; We can see people as people or... not. When we connect with the person we experience I/Thou. When we see them as the means to an end or as the nameless source of our frustration we interact from the I/It. The I/Thou offers recognition and creates a bond.
Here's an example I heard recently: A woman told me her flight had been delayed due to bad weather. As people waited in line to their reschedule flight, one after another they approached the counter and vented their wrath at the agent. When it was her turn, this woman expressed her sympathy for what the agent was going through. The agent's eyes misted over, she smiled, and then booked the woman on her new flight, upgrading her to first class!
Responding from the I/Thou, seeing the person in the transaction, creates a bond. This passenger wasn't trying to get upgraded, she simply noticed the person in front of her. The result was an appreciative ticket agent who wanted to help.
Effective workplace recognition improves productivity in the same way. It produces a connection that creates loyalty and engagement. Don't lose sight of it.
If you have been acting on these tips over the past year, you deserve a lot of recognition. Congratulations!
Hopefully, I'm not the only one who recognizes your efforts. You should be seeing results AND people should be telling you so.
If you team hasn't mentioned all you are doing, go ahead and ask for feedback. Yes, it's shameless, but heck you deserve an occasional pat on the back too. You might even learn what you can do better.
I can pretty much guarantee that your team appreciates your efforts. Most of the time people forget to recognize up or don't realize that it is appropriate. Even the greatest managers rarely get the praise they deserve. Give them a nudge and let them make your day!
Looking for clever and inexpensive trinkets for awards and thank you gifts? www.orientaltrading.com is a terrific resource. You can find clever toys, stress balls, kaleidoscopes, and even miniature aliens.
Put up a white board in the cafeteria or some other area where people frequent. Write notes of praise or appreciation for all to see. Congratulate teams and individuals. Note birthdays, anniversaries, or personal accomplishments. Encourage everyone to add to the board. Assign someone to erase items after they have been up a few days.
Want to create a meaningful award? Don't forget to supply the meaning!
In one multinational company the service award is highly valued in one division and called the gravestone in another. I promise this is not what the company had in mind!
They failed to attach meaning to the award, so the employees did it for them.
What do you want your award to represent? Communicate that with each presentation.
FASTER stands for the components of a 10 minute stand up meeting. People take turns saying what they have Finished, who they would like to Acknowledge, what's still Outstanding, Trouble spots that exist, Enlightenment they have received, and finally they Request what they need from the team to be successful. If you haven't tried it, test it out.
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
When's the last time your team has seen you laugh? When did you last bring some fun to your workplace? Laughter builds relationships and boosts productivity.
Want to instill a little fun with your gratitude? Try pairing your thank you note with a toy.
A tangible symbol of your gratitude can make your message stick, creating far more lasting value.
All the responsibility for fun, creative recognition isn't yours alone. Get your team involved. Have them design a fun piece of recognition, maybe a department t-shirt or cap. Use the custom awards to celebrate achieving an important milestone.
Have you ever received a performance review that took you by surprise, and not in a good way? Maybe the review dinged you for something that happened months earlier, and this was the first time your manager has mentioned it! If this has happened to you, you are not alone. Many employees have expressed their frustration with Appraisal Ambush.
Maybe you've been on the other side of this, putting off corrective feedback because you see it as an unpleasant task. The thing is, when it is focused on helping the employee improve, employees can see it as a positive.
When you have to give corrective feedback, be specific and timely, focus on the issue not the person, and express confidence that the problem can be fixed. Don't wait for the employee's review!
A monthly one on one conversation with each employee creates an excellent foundation for meaningful recognition. Face to face provides the most recognition, but you can also be effective having some of your meetings by phone.
Allow at least as much time for employees to discuss what they choose as you do to talk about what is on your mind.
Remember that the very definition of recognition has to do with seeing and acknowledging an individual. Stay in touch.
My dad had a routine. Once a month he would take me out to breakfast, just me. It was my time. It made me feel important.
Positive, focused attention makes us feel valued. Sometimes it is difficult to provide focused attention while you are at the office.
Consider taking each of your direct reports (or team members) out to breakfast once a quarter. Away from the office, conversation will be more casual and relaxed, and you will be more focused.
If you haven't yet, it is probably time to assess your progress. Conduct a survey or simply talk to staff. What's working and what's not? What do they want more/less of? What ideas do they have for bringing more fun and recognition into your workplace? Get the feedback you need to improve how valued your people feel.
Interdepartmental conflict is a common issue. Often the cause is lack of appreciation for the contribution that other teams make.
Why not increase harmony and re-invigorate your team by asking them to come up with a creative way to recognize those outside the team who offer help to you?
None of these a good fit? No problem! You team can choose what works for them. Let me know what you come up with!
One more thought on self-recognition: What are you doing to recognize yourself, to yourself? Most of us are really good at offering ourselves corrective feedback, frequently at four in the morning when we can't sleep. Few of us lay awake nights reliving our greatest moments.
If you want to boost your morale and engagement, start writing down your achievements. Create a success log. Review it occasionally. You'll find it really works!
In the past two weeks we have looked at the advantages of self recognition to your team. We have also discussed how you can encourage self recognition.
I want to suggest that you not just encourage self recognition. Because it is so valuable I recommend that you: Make self recognition part of the culture and framework of your team. Set and communicate your expectations. Follow up.
Instead of simply providing permission for employees to acknowledge their successes, insist on it!
When employees recognize themselves it increases the amount of recognition staff receives and highlights what they find most important. Two big pluses, but there is one more advantage. Education.
Provide opportunities for employees to self-recognize their solutions to problems, innovations in how they do their work, and the new things that they have learned. Have self recognition presentations as part of your meetings. These presentations will provide important cross-training for your team.
Want to up the recognition quotient among your team members? Get them to recognize themselves! A well-rounded recognition effort should include opportunities for people to tell others what they have accomplished.
Self-recognition can't replace other forms but it can be an excellent supplement. Encourage it!
Has recognition become a habit for you? Yes? Congratulations!
Still not quite there? If you find yourself putting recognition on your to do list and not getting to it. Or you put it on, do it, and then don't put it on again for several weeks, consider, or reconsider, the following concept from Make Their Day and Recognition Strategies That Work:
Make recognition the header of your to do list.
Instead of making recognition an item on your list, look for ways to build recognition into everything you do. Think PORT; Praise, Opportunity, Respect, and Thanks.
There is inherent recognition in being part of an organization that has positive involvement in the community - particularly for the individual who is actively involved in an outreach effort.
Volunteerism also provides avenues for developing new skills, often providing experiences that could be useful in the workplace.
Some organizations encourage employee volunteerism. Some even provide paid hours to do it in. Others choose to volunteer as a group at fundraiser events, cleanup projects, and more.
How can you help your community and instill pride of purpose in your people?