Organizations seem to really struggle with employee recognition. It's hard to implement programs that work for the whole organization. You have an advantage as a manager because you can customize for each employee. This is a quick and easy approach you can use to express appreciation to your employees, in a way that is actually meaningful.
It’s important to figure out what will resonate most for each employee. What makes this tricky is that sometimes the employees themselves aren’t entirely sure what motivates them. You can get around this by asking them for examples of times when they were really happy in their work or job, and what specifically about the situation made it positive for them. Here are some of the common motivating factors and how to address them.
Giving feedback is probably the most important thing you do as a manager. Feedback is how employees know whether they're on the right track, and whether what they're doing will help in achieving the organization's goals. Managers often miss opportunities to give valuable feedback, though, because they want to think about it or find the right time, and the right time never seems to come. The key is to be ready to give feedback at any time, and there is a simple three-part model that you can use to give both supportive and corrective feedback at a moment's notice.
Flexible work arrangements are a terrific, low-cost way for managers to motivate and reward their employees. Here are some things to consider and tips for implementing more flexibility on your team.
Keeping your employees motivated and engaged in their work is no small task. On the one hand, you've probably heard many times that "it's not about the money." On the other hand, your employees are probably telling you that it is, in fact, very much about the money. That doesn't even cover the fact that you have little or no say over the money, anyway, so whether or not it motivates employees seems moot. What's a front-line manager to do?!
The reason the information on employee motivation is so confusing is that people try to oversimplify something that isn't simple. There is a difference between things that motivate and things that demotivate, and there is a difference between what employees want at a subconscious level and what they actually ask for. Once we disentangle these things, it becomes much easier to figure out where to start.
There's a balance to be struck between giving employees the feedback they need to be successful and having employees dread the sight of you because it means yet another correction. I've worked for an organization where not only was feedback too frequent, it was delivered by just about everyone. It starts to make an employee feel like they're constantly being watched and judged, which does not provide optimal conditions for thoughtful, innovative work. You do not need to give your employees feedback about every little thing they do, but it is important for you to recognize the times when you should give feedback so that you give them clear direction about how they're doing.
More and more organizations are offering flexible work arrangements to their employees these days. This could include everything from getting to choose one's hours, compressing work schedules to allow more days off, and of course working away from the office, on a sporadic basis, a regular schedule, or even full-time. These arrangements can be great for employees, but they definitely present challenges for managers. The good news is that almost all the tips for managing telecommuting employees apply to management in general. Telecommuting just forces managers to be more intentional in their approach, but a lot of it is hopefully stuff you're already doing just to be a good manager. Here are a few best practices to consider, even if you don't currently have any employees working remotely.
Any time your team is dealing with a project or decision that will significantly impact them, you will need to get commitment and buy-in from the whole team on what is to be done, even those not directly affected. The following tips can help you get buy-in from your employees, even if it's an unpopular decision.
Your one-on-one meetings with your employees are incredibly important in achieving your team's objectives. If you're like most managers, you probably don't feel like you have time, so here are some tips for how to make sure the meetings happen and that both of you get the most out of them.