Performance Management Training : 5 Ideas for recognising and appreciating your staff to make a big difference

There aren’t many companies around that wouldn’t argue that their most treasured asset is their staff, or their talent or their people.

However, this has been sorely tested in recent times, what with the economic climate, banking crisis, Eurozone and….and….causing many businesses to resize, downsize or re-organise resulting in redundancies.

But still too few managers or leaders seem to understand the need for and even fewer actively show their most treasured asset the appreciation and recognition they deserve.
Employees are motivated by many different things but feeling appreciated and being recognised for their efforts ranks towards the top of the list.
People naturally want to feel valued and appreciated, not only when their contributions are significant, but throughout the year.

Verbal praise and appreciation is easy and delivers a big impact.
Small tokens of appreciation stand as reminders that individuals are really appreciated.
These efforts made by managers can quickly improve staff morale, staff satisfaction.

Rainmaker’s Top 5 things to start putting this right

(We cover this and other similar topics in our Performance Management Training Workshop)

1. Describe and agree what behaviour, contribution and results will attract appreciation, recognition or reward – and probably what doesn’t.

2. Make sure all staff are included – this is not for the elite or top 10% – all means 100% of staff and managers regardless of their level.

3. Any appreciation, recognition or just plain feedback must spell out the behaviours, contribution or results that are being appreciated, recognised or rewarded.

4. Make it personal but do it in ways that is seen as fair and consistent across the business.

5. Do it as soon after the event to make sure it’s appropriate and relevant to reinforce the behaviours, contribution or results you previously agreed.

Top 5 things to stop doing

1. Don’t take for granted that staff automatically know they are appreciated.

2. Don’t wait for the annual appraisal meeting to appreciate staff – it’s too late and becomes irrelevant and pointless.

3. Don’t be vague – better describe the behaviours, contribution or results that are being appreciated.

4. Don’t be mealy-mouthed when you give appreciation, at least smile and be sincere.

5. Don’t fall into the trap of thanking everyone just for doing the basics – surprise them from time to time

The benefits

There is a huge amount of research, case studies and the like that suggests by appreciating more the efforts of your staff:

More of your staff will be satisfied at work.

Satisfied staff produce more – up to 20% more according to different studies

You keep more of your talented and valued asset – especially the higher performing ones

You might just retain more customers – it can cost 5 to 7 times as much to get a new customer as retain the existing ones

Could be another edge over your competitors

So………recognising and appreciating your staff will make a big difference.

When staff feel appreciated, they are likely to be more productive and have a stronger sense of loyalty.

When staff are rewarded, they are more likely to repeat the behaviours, contribution or results that lead to the reward.

Good businesses have nothing to lose and so much to gain by making the effort to show staff appreciation and recognise their hard work and efforts.

Great companies recognise that their staff really are their most important asset and continuously find innovative ways to recognise them appropriately.

How do you recognise and reward your teams?

People Management: Do your people feel overwhelmed?

Do people in your team fit into the 25% and 50% of people who report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?

It seems to be a combination of the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.

Our sense is that what we’ve lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries.

Our use of technology has blurred them all beyond recognition.
Wherever we go, our work follows us. It’s on our digital devices, always on , ever insistent and if we let them be, intrusive.

It’s like an itch we can’t resist scratching, even though like scratching that usually makes it worse.

Do you answer email during conference calls and sometimes even during calls with other people?
Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you’re taking notes while you surf the net?
Do you eat lunch at your desk?
Do you make calls while you’re driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn’t?
Can we suggest that probably the biggest cost — assuming you don’t crash — is to your productivity.

It’s a simple consequence of splitting your attention, so that you’re partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one.
Jack of all trades /Master of none?

The research suggests that when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish the original task by an average of 25 per cent.

However it is also because if you’re always doing something, you’re relentlessly burning down your available reservoir of energy over the course of every day.
That means you’ll have less energy available with every passing hour.

I would suggest that you know this from your own experience.
You will I’m sure have experienced the euphoria you get from getting two to three times as much work accomplished when you work from home or can focus without interruption for a designated period of time and then take a real break, away from your desk.

We think the best way for an organisation to fuel higher productivity and more innovative thinking is to strongly encourage finite periods of absorbed focus, as well as shorter periods for real renewal.

If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth considering promoting:
1. Maintain meeting discipline.
Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused.
Take time afterward to reflect on what’s been discussed, and recover before the next obligation.
Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.

2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day.
It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities.
Let them turn off their email at certain times.
If what you have for them to do is urgent, you can call them — but that won’t happen very often.

3. Encourage renewal-time.
Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break.
Offer a mid-afternoon class in yoga, or meditation.
Organise a group lunch-time walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or even take a nap.

It’s also up to individuals to set their own boundaries.

How about trying these new three behaviours for youself?

1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time.
If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones.
Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point.
The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to renew.

2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically.
If you don’t, you’ll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent.
Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that’s relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.

3. Take real and regular breaks from work.
When we say real that means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work.
Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend.
The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation or holiday time, and more productive overall.

A single principle lies at the heart of all these suggestions.

When you’re engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time.
When you’re renewing, truly renew.
Make more of the boundaries between black and white and stop living your life in the gray zone.