What does it take to truly motivate an employee? What breaks an employee's resistance to showing up on time and lets them work with joy? What makes employees brag about the company that pays them?
How do successful corporations succeed in keeping loyal employees? Not by fear or intimidation. Once pressure is applied 'to perform or produce,' either more or better, the average employee becomes less effective.
Many employees are completely self-motivated and never need any outside impetus. They are content with fulfilling their own inward goals. Others need some inspiring, positive feedback in order to apply their most creative and heartfelt energies to a job. They need an incentive to feel they belong, to have a sense of identity with the corporation they work for. The desire for recognition resides in all of us and having this need acknowledged is an important part of one's work life.
Although an employee is an individual and works as an individual, there is always a need to be aware that the employee is also a part of the whole group, the total corporation, and that each individual is important. When the corporation treats the employees as someone important, the employees will also feel the corporation is important and will feel proud to be a part of its success and growth.
The secret of employee performance comes from the awareness by management or peers that a person is doing a great job and then outwardly recognizing that performance. One proven technique is giving corporate awards that recognize the unique contribution that an employee provides. To be powerful, this award needs to be of a lasting nature and something that others will be able to see and recognize. A sincere compliment is always welcome, but material objects such as rings make the difference in employee loyalty. The inspiration received from a corporate gift can transform an entire department. Motivation to do an even better job enlivens the atmosphere.
Employees aren't usually going to blatantly ask for recognition. Actually, when singled out for a special award they will appear shy and mutter something about not really deserving it. However, inside they are glowing and are probably having a hard time holding back tears of appreciation -- making acceptance speeches isn't part of one's everyday activity in ordinary corporate life. When an employee receives a reward in the form of a pay raise, the reaction is usually one of relief. "Whew! I actually got it!" When one receives a Safety Award Ring or a Company Ring with a special inscription on it, awkwardness can be expected. The implication, silently stated, is, "You are unique and special! We truly appreciate you." Acceptance of this appreciation is often best expressed with eyes meeting in trust and a nod of the head.
The power represented by an award of this type goes beyond the dollar value in a corporation. Without loyal, fantastic employees a corporation doesn't exist. Those who are the life blood of the corporation truly deserve all the awards and recognition that are bestowed upon them.