The gift of good employees

December 1, 2005 By    

The arrival of the Christmas season begs the question that hounds Santa-loving kids from 1 to 92: Have you been naughty or nice?

 Patrick Hyland
Patrick Hyland

How Santa rewards – or disappoints – that level of performance becomes the fabric of family lore for generations.

The same issue applies to your work family. How do you reward the good work of those who wear your company logo this particularly sensitive time of year? The question carries heightened significance in these times of high employee turnover and shrinking labor pool.

If your company is one of the many that robotically distributes nut roll as its seasonal expression of gratitude, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

A motivated employee is a productive employee, and productive employees are invaluable to a company’s bottom line. Their exceptional customer service creates customer loyalty and increased sales. When those efforts are recognized, workers stay with the company longer, which reduces the cost of hiring and training new employees.

Unfortunately, many companies focus more on squeezing nickels than motivating their staffs.

You don’t have to cough up huge bonuses or expensive gifts to let your people know how much they are appreciated. In fact, experts say there is little correlation between pay and performance. There are simpler, more effective ways to motivate your employees, improve their performance and increase productivity.

Empowerment is a powerful motivator. Once you have made the investment to train them, employees need the freedom to handle business matters on the spot. Your trust in their ability to perform will help them set the bar higher for themselves and the company.

Don’t be one of those Scrooge-like employers who only pays attention when employees make mistakes. Be generous with positive reinforcement and public praise. Spend time every day trying to catch employees doing great things, and then reinforce that behavior through recognition.

Deliver sincere “thank yous” in person and as often as possible, and recognize individual performances on a bulletin board, company sign, newsletter or at a company function.

When employees feel good about their jobs and the company, they perform more efficiently individually and as a cohesive team that drives your business.

That’s a gift that will keep giving all year long.

Comments are currently closed.