Monday, February 1, 2016

Awards / Rewards

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on……………"

Note:  I've been having problems with the blogger platform and email account.  It may have been hacked.  Working on a solution. 

Another post from the queue:

A lot of leadership comes down to two tasks: 1) Find and recruit the very best people you can to work with you, given your resources and circumstances; and then 2) motivate those people to do their best work.

There are numerous ways to motivate your people.  Finding fault is not one of them.  One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways is to acknowledge their contributions.  Everyone likes a pat on the back, particularly if public.  It's nice to be acknowledged and recognized for hard work done well.  While an occasional word of thanks is often enough, something more goes further.

An easy way to elevate those acknowledgments is to present people with a more formalized recognition of their contributions - in the form of some kind of award (be it a certificate, a plaque, a trophy or whatever).  I don't think we do nearly enough of this kind of thank you to our people.  Some might argue that such awards are diminished by giving them out too frequently, to too many people, but I disagree.  I don't think this kind of formal award is lessened, or in any way cheapened, by the fact that there are many within our organizations that deserve them - from our staff and board members, to our volunteers and donors / supporters.

When I first got to the California Arts Council and noted that many staff members had been serving for years and years - without any recognition at all - I arranged for small (but elegant) desktop, engraved lucite trophies to be given to staff that had been around for five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty years - acknowledging and thanking them for that service. I believe this simple (and long overdue) gesture was appreciated by the staff and that it helped forge a good relationship with me (being new), and most important, the recognition and simple thank-you relayed the message to the recipients that they were important to the organization, and that I knew it.  I think it helped in motivating them to continue to do the excellent work they had been doing.  It was relative inexpensive to do, and paid big dividends.  And it made the recipients feel good - and that is important.

I think more organizations should do just that.  And not only with their staffs, but with their Boards, their donors and supporters and even partners and government authorizing agencies (if applicable).

Of course, rewards are always appreciated.  Days off, special parking places, bonuses, salary increases,  increased decision making authority, and other tangible expressions of thanks go a long way, but I believe just the formalization of recognition and thanks is the key.

So, I would urge all of you to consider who within your organization you might be overdue in acknowledging and thanking for their past and ongoing contributions, and then do it.  Google "trophy / awards" and you will be surprised how inexpensive you can get engraved awards.

Have a great week.

Don't Quit