AKA Reward and Recognition
Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to have good managers. Strong leaders with an ability to get people on board and working to their maximum potential.
When I reflect over what strategies these managers used to keep people motivated, a common denominator was the ability to make people feel special and valued. Often too, the gestures were small and low-cost yet resulted in their team feeling a sense of recognition and reward. Here are some of the methods they used:
HR Director – University
Every Christmas our HR Director would write a letter within a large Christmas card to each member of the HR Department (over 30 of us!). The letter was quite long and thoughtfully written. He would comment on very specific achievements plus unique personality attributes, which had the effect of making us realise that he noticed each and every one of us. This made us feel valued (I still have my copies of these Christmas cards).
Health & Safety Manager – University
Despite the intense nature of her role, this manager had a very nurturing nature and cared about the details of our lives. She would ask after our families, celebrate our personal successes and provide support during hard times. She made it okay for family to come first (as it should). She would also write a thank you letter to each of her team members at the end of the year.
Managing Director – Retail Company
This manager would spontaneously swoop in with a large order of pizza for the whole of Support office to share. He never scheduled these pizza events, so we never knew when it was coming. Providing treat food is such a simple measure, and even grown-ups get terribly excited when free pizza is presented to them as a surprise!
Group HR Manager – Retail Company
Our Group HR Manager set all of her team up for success by allowing autonomy and trusting us to get the job done. At times she would assign tasks that were more than we ever thought ourselves capable of achieving. She would support us for the duration, and then upon completion praise us extravagantly in front of senior management. This created an environment of super stars.
Branch Manager – Retail Company
This manager had a wonderful habit of impromptu morning tea shouts. She would pop out to the bakery nearby and buy each team member their most favourite slice. Inexpensive yet meaningful as it had the effect of personalising the gesture. This resulted in us feeling valued and cared for. She also took a strong interest in our family lives.
Chief Technology Officer – Software Development Company
This manager had a similar strategy deployed by the Group HR Manager in creating an environment of high-performers (see above). He also noticed the accomplishments of his team, and would acknowledge and record the successes that may have otherwise fallen under the radar. Plus he would bring in baking!
I hope that the above provides you with some ideas of ways to help your team feel valued and special. The measures are often small, are inexpensive and at times subtle, but have a powerful effect on the motivation levels of your team. Reward and Recognition doesn’t have to be overly complicated 🙂