Sometimes the work place can just have too many pizza lunches. It’s not enough, and doesn’t really show originality.
The days of employees marking their progress and status in a company by salaries, pay raises and promotions seem to be over. While these issues still obviously matter greatly, they seem to be far more perfunctory compared to real-time acknowledgement of performance.
Employees today are far more sensitive and in need of communication on a regular, even daily basis about how they are doing in their tasks. Employee awards are now more than just desktop dust collection statues or wall-fillers. Some might consider this a sign of a “whiny” generation, but the fact is the work world today is far different from that of just 20 years ago.
The ways managers can direct people and sensitivity training in things like emotional intelligence have changed things. For that reason it’s important for a manager to understand how to regularly acknowledge the performances of staff on an ongoing basis. Benefits for both company and employee result.
• Improved office morale as employees are reminded of their importance and role in the office team. This in turn generally increases overall cohesion and productivity. • Improved individual productivity as the given employee receiving the acknowledgment feels that he or she has proven valuable for the company or organization in a specific way.
• Reduction of employee complaints about line management as line managers end up working on better terms with staff and communicate more often what is working and what needs change or improvement. • Better tracking of employee performance of individuals so managers can later assess the same employees in more detail when it comes time for annual performance evaluations.
• Better record-keeping of employee performance for determinations on who is qualified to receive raises or promotions when it comes time to decide who moves forward among multiple candidates.
None of these are direct cause-and-effect but managers who regularly acknowledge their employees’ efforts see a greater level of overall office communication and issues going on underneath them. As employees feel attention is on them, even with simple monthly employee awards, they begin to feel empowered and part of a more valued team. This in turn helps managers “hear” more of what’s going on beyond just direct reports and operational summaries.
The biggest challenge for managers adapting to this approach involves those supervisors who were trained in environments that didn’t do very much in the way of a pat on the back or regular praise.
They tend to feel that newer workers needing employee awards are too co-dependent and need to “grow up” and be more self-reliant and grow a tougher skin. Such perspectives, right or wrong, can set the stage for friction between an “old school” supervisor and a newer generation worker. Some people eventually adapt, but others end up spiraling into repetitive and persistent workplace tension and less-than-stellar workplace relationships. Regardless of past sentiment, these are the managers who need to see the value of employee acknowledgment the most. The rules of managing have changed.
Overall, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing good work. So if you’re wondering how well it might work, try giving an employee award. Many will be amazed.