Archive for the "Strategic Recognition & Company Values" Category

Sticks & Stones… * Why the Emotional Intent of Your Words Matter

Word cloud of words associated with positive thinkingRecognize This! – We have the power to make our work (and home) environments more positive, simply through the words we choose to use more often.

All over the news today is Facebook’s stealthy psychological experiment on users. If you’ve missed the news, here’s the quick summary. Researchers from Facebook, Cornell University and the University of California “altered” the algorithm that determines what is seen in the News Feed. This change went into effect for nearly 700,000 users, divided into two groups. One group saw posts with words more commonly associated with positive emotions (“love, nice, sweet”) while the other group saw posts with more negative words (“hurt, ugly, nasty”).

Setting aside the moral question of submitting people to a psychological test they’re unaware of, the results are quite interesting. Published in a scientific journal, the results reported on the reality of “emotional contagion” in which your own mood is affected by those with whom you are associated (spend more time with “happy” people and you are likely to be more happy yourself, for example). As discussed in this article:

“Researchers have found that emotions can be contagious during face-to-face interactions, when a friend’s laugh or smile might lift your spirits. But what happens online? Facebook was trying to figure that out. It turns out that, yes, the Internet is just like real life in this way. People who were shown fewer positive words on Facebook tended to turn around and write posts of their own that contained fewer positive words (and more negative words). And people who were shown fewer negative words tended, in turn, to write posts with fewer negative words and more positive words.”

Now think about what that means in your own life – at work and at home. What type of words – positive or negative – do you tend to hear more often? Words of praise or words of denigration? What type of words do you tend to use yourself?

Specifically in the workplace, I’ve heard numerous managers over the years comment: “I think criticism helps people learn more quickly. They need to know where they stand and where they can improve.” Criticism where needed is important, but weighting your words has deep value.

With this research in mind, we need to reconsider the impact in the workplace:

  1. What kind of culture and workplace environment are you trying to create (in your team or across your company)? If you want a positive, empowering culture in which others look for ways to support each other in achieving success, then the words that typically flow through the workplace matter.
  2. Are you providing a means for positivity to dominate your workplace? Changing bad habits or creating new good habits needs support. Social recognition, which encourages everyone to notice and appreciate the exceptional work of those around them (including the behaviors in line with their company’s core values), naturally facilitates a positivity-dominated workplace in which messages of appreciation and praise flow easily between people, across team and over regions/geographies.
  3. What do you tolerate from yourself and your own team members? This week, intentionally pay special attention to your words (verbal and written). Are you more positive or negative in what you say? Pay attention, too, to the body language of those around you. How do you see them reacting to positivity vs. negativity? If, for example, in a meeting setting, how do they contribute to meeting based on the type of words commonly used?

Keep in mind this research:

“The factor that made the greatest difference between the most successful and least successful teams was the ratio of positive comments to negative ones. Top-performing teams gave each other more than five positive comments for every criticism, while the lowest-performing teams gave each other three negative comments for every positive one.”

What’s your own personal ratio of positive to negative comments? What’s your direct superior’s ratio? How does that affect you?


Crowdsourcing How to Re-Engage Fatigued Employees

origami birdsRecognize This! – Kind commenters shared additional wisdom on how to re-engage fatigued employees.

Last week, I shared here on Recognize This! a summary of my SHRM 2014 annual conference presentationHow to Transform Employee Fatigue into Employee Engagement – and also shared it on my LinkedIn profile blog. That posting received several comments, which I appreciate greatly. A few of these comments in particular raised additional points that add tremendous value to my original post.

Defining and Communicating the “WHY”

To engage more fully, employees need to know the deeper meaning and value of the work they do every day. Mike Denison | FIC | Executive Coach made this additional point:

“Companies and managers could do a lot worse than making sure THE WHY of the organisation is fully understood. Many employees don’t have anything to feel part of, they come to work to live outside of work. Engaged employees come to work because they have a sense of purpose that in line with the purpose and meaning of the organisation. Try megaphoning and articulating THE WHY of the organsation more and see what happens. Oh, by the way, the WHY is never money / profit / shareholder value, those are results and outcomes, the WHY is a feeling of the value you bring to society and a sense of direction and purpose.”

Eric Branham added on to Mr. Denison’s comment:

“I agree with Mr. Denison. Many companies’ ‘core values’ read more like your list of impacted results above. For many employees the inspiration will come not from being told how they impact the bottom line, but whether or not they feel that their own work is contributing to something positive for the community at large. So, just how big is the picture you are presenting, and how do your core values align with it?”

Making Performance Reviews Relevant

Mr. Branham went on to say:

“In addition, I would suggest that performance reviews should be adjusted to include some input from direct reports. Giving the supervised some level of input on the performance of the supervisor would help in a number of ways, not the least of which is that crucial factor in any business: ownership. Many employees become dissatisfied as a result of feeling that they have no avenue for changing the situation positively. Opening up some portion of the review process to direct reports would help to create a leadership structure that is open, communicative, and RESPONSIVE to team members at every level.”

While a social recognition program isn’t the place to capture negative or constructive feedback, a well-designed, strategic program will encourage recognition from anyone to anyone, which includes recognition from employees to superiors. This gives an additional avenue for upward recognition is happening, for what reasons and if not, why not.

Andries Fourie also commented:

“To me, this is why a meaningful career development discussion is such a powerful tool for a manager/leader. If we can assist an employee to: 1) Set great goals for personal and work growth, 2) Get rid of beliefs, rules and values that are holding him/her back, 3) Find what he/she is passionate about, to find his/her purpose 4) Understand the importance of his/her role in the team’s overall performance and how the above will affect that, then we will have engaged employees.”

The Over-worked Employee

I’ll admit, my SHRM presentation started out with 10 types of fatigued employees, which I had to reduce to 5 for time constraints. Bob Korzeniowski, MBA, CPA, PMP calls to mind one of those types:

“Your article misses this: The over-worked employee. You know, the one who works a lot of overtime and does this for long stretches of time. They need time off to rest and recharge, so give them more vacation time.”

Overworked employees might be the most difficult to diagnose for intervention. Keep in mind the truism, “If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.” Yet, these people are among the most important to keep an eye on because they are clearly valuable to the organization. Recognizing their efforts and engaging in detailed performance conversations are quite critical to their success.

The Last Word

I’ll give the last word to Erick Hjortsvang, who puts it so eloquently:

“Give recognition. Provide the tools to succeed. Understand that advice is not a resource. Ask the employees what they would want and, if not counter to the company or goals, then they might be reengaged.”

What about you? What kind of fatigued employees do you see in your organization? What additional advise or insight would you offer?

5 Types of Fatigued Employees & How to Help them Re-Engage

Recognize This! – Energy ebbs and flows over time, but we can help employees re-engage when we identify and address key areas of fatigue.

I had the opportunity to present at SHRM in Orlando this week. I was gratified to have a full session at the 7:00 am early-bird spot on Tuesday. I think the title of my session – How to Transform Employee Fatigue into Employee Engagement – may have resonated with SHRM attendees.

As I was able to discuss later at SHRM with John Hollon, editor of TLNT, employee recognition data has become a powerful tool to better understand our employees’ state of mind and ways in which we can influence them more effectively. For those unable to attend, I’d like to share the main points of my presentation in which I discussed the five primary types of “fatigued” employees. I shared a good many statistics, too, primarily from our Workforce Mood Tracker and SHRM/Globoforce surveys. (Full survey reports are available here.)

1) The Uninspired Employee

Symptoms: doesn’t see meaning in their job (or how they fit into the mission of company).  They often lack motivation and drive.

To fully engage, day after day, employees need inspiration. We all need a sense of greater purpose and meaning for what we do beyond the day-to-day tasks. When we recognize others for how they’ve contributed to the bigger picture, we help our colleagues gain that needed deeper meaning. And when we do so in the context of the core values of the organization, we help all employees understand more deeply the company conviction to do business right – achieve needed results, yes, but only when we can do so without violating our core values.

Indeed, 72% of companies (with recognition tied to core values) said employees felt fairly rewarded for performance. And values-based recognition has a profound impact and many factors that drive bottom-line value:

Why values-based recognition matters - bar chart

2) The “Checked Out” Employee

Symptoms: can’t wait to run out the door when 5pm hits or is going through the motions, content to “rack up” years of service without any meaningful motivation

81% of companies celebrate milestone anniversary awards in some sort of Years of Service or Long Service program. And yet, only 15% of employees in these programs say receiving such an award helped them be more engaged. Indeed, 51% say a service award changed nothing.

Why is this? 73% of employees say recognition is far more meaningful when it includes feedback from others – peers and colleagues – as well as their managers. That’s why a much more modern approach to service anniversaries intentionally involves others in the celebration moment.

51% of employees feel nothing from service awards

Image Credit: USA Today

3) The Negative Employee

Symptoms: can be a real “Debbie Downer” and bring down the happiness levels of those around them if their influence is allowed to grow and spread.

The impact of happiness on numerous factors – employee engagement and satisfaction at work as well as physical health, family and others – is well documented. Being recognized at work for demonstrating core values (as discussed in the first example above) is a key contributor to perceptions of personal happiness – at work and at home.

How recognition increases happiness

4) The Fortune Teller Employee

Symptoms – Dreads performance reviews due to poor structure and lack of peer input. He knows the drill and what’s going to happen (the same as last year).

Employees (51%) and managers (45%) alike see the traditional performance review as a failed mechanism, giving an inaccurate appraisal of employee performance. 61% of respondents to a survey said performance reviews rarely or never lead to improved performance.

So what works better? We don’t need to throw out the traditional process entirely, but rather supplement it with the Crowdsourced Performance Review. How does that work in practice? A client of ours in the high-technology industry tells us:

“We actually see recognition as a living, breathing, performance journal, and it’s given us insights into what team members are doing and what they’re not doing…And what’s been really great is the ability that we’ve had to integrate the recognition data into our performance appraisals and into our performance management.”

5) The Under-Appreciated Team

Symptoms – Knows the only recognition they might receive will be at the annual awards event, so why work hard the other 11 months of year when their efforts won’t be remembered?

While 78% of employees say they’d work harder if their efforts were recognized, only 15% of employees have been recognized in the past month. Saying “thank you” in a very specific and, critically, timely way is easy to do and delivers tremendous results – results many organizations are missing out on. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), for example, found:

“Appreciation is one of the most effective motivators in building long-term employee engagement, and at the end of the day, saying ‘Thank you’ is just part of showing you care.”

And for IHG the bottom-line impact is undeniable

  • The difference in operating profit between hotels with highly engaged staff and those without can be as high as 7%
  • 5 percentage point rise in engagement = 70 cents of increased revenue per available room per night
  • This means a 200-bed hotel could make more than $50,000 in additional revenue a year by improving staff engagement.


The Power of Thanks

So what were the take-away lessons for each of these employee types? Social recognition can:

  1. Help an organization recognize and reinforce core values.
  2. Reinvigorate years of service programs.
  3. Reshape behaviors, how what’s desired, and elevate collective happiness.
  4. Reinvent the performance review.
  5. Build a culture of trust and positivity.

What type of employees do you see in your organization? How are you helping them overcome their fatigue and re-engage?

“Good People Data Makes the Business Run Better”

image of flowing numbers and lettersRecognize This! – More sources for data on our most valuable asset – our people – is necessary to drive organization success.

Data, specifically good data, drives successful companies. I call out the obvious with “good data” because a great deal of superfluous and even bad data floats around any company. As analysts often say, “correlation does not equal causation,” but correlation can reveal interesting insights if interpreted through the correct lens. Discerning the good from the bad, however, is the real trick, especially in this era of big data.

People data is particularly sensitive because the decisions we make based on the correlations (and causations) gleaned from people data affects lives. That’s why people like Thomas Otter are vital to our industry, helping ensure we are using HR data effectively. Otter was an analyst with Gartner for many years (VP of Human Capital Management trends and lead SAP analyst) before moving to SuccessFactors.

In an interview with HRZone, Otter commented:

“The modern HR system needs to do more. Make managers manage better, drive employee engagement, provide HR with insights, and most importantly, make the business run better.  The HR department is not the only customer of the HR system. Good people data makes the business run better.(emphasis mine)

That’s the context in which HR functions: managing the real assets that ensures company success (or dooms it to failure) – the people. Generally, however, we can do a much better job of assembling data on our people. All too often, the data comes once a year from an annual performance review or very informally through conjecture or gossip. The self-promotional types tend to rise to the top while those who are equally talented but less able to promote their own successes tend to have their skills marginalized.

So how do we gather more information more consistently from more sources on all employees? Social recognition, strategically applied, is proven to drive the data needed to make more informed decisions. With social recognition, all employees are on alert for excellence around them, particularly excellence linked to what the organization needs most – demonstration of the core values in contribution to achieving strategic objectives. When all employees are noticing, acknowledging and – critically – recording detailed praise and appreciation, far more employee data becomes rapidly available for timely decision making.

Otter confirmed this when asked what he viewed as the key HR tech trends for 2014 (quoting):

  • Compliance is not going away. Legal changes such as eSocial in Brazil, RTI in the UK, and imminent changes in EU privacy regulations will keep HR departments busy.
  • Social software has already revolutionised recruitment, and it will hit other part of HR in 2014. We are only just beginning to understand the power of analytics, and the reach that mobile brings.
  • Think beyond employees, and think total workforce. Contingent workforce is an opportunity and a threat.
  • Mobile goes mainstream.

Mobile is an especially important trend in this context of vastly increasing the amount of people data available for analysis. Implementing social recognition with a fully integrated mobile platform ensures greater participation (as “mobile goes mainstream”) and therefore more data available.

What do you learn from the data gathered through social recognition? Many things, including which employees excel at demonstrating specific values, who works most effectively across teams or within the team, areas in the company of exceptional performance and areas where intervention may be necessary.

How does your organization generate and aggregate people data? What do you look to learn from your analytics of that information?

How to Love Work Again

Hands in the shape of a heartRecognize This! – We all want to do good work and also do right by ourselves and our families. Balancing these “energy” needs is the path to success – at work and at home.

“How’s your energy level?” can sound a bit too new-age for the numbers-minded business world. Yet “energy” is one of the (if not the primary) indicators of performance, productivity and results in the workplace. Tony Schwartz and his Energy Project are at the vanguard of this movement as illustrated in Sunday’s New York Times article “Why You Hate Work” (by Tony and Christine Porath) on the results of a study of more than 12,000 mostly white-collar employees across companies and industries.

Overwhelmingly, the study showed employees are far more productive when four core needs are met (quoting):

  1. Physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work
  2. Emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions
  3. Mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done
  4. Spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.

Schwartz and Porath go on to comment:

“The more effectively leaders and organizations support employees in meeting these core needs, the more likely the employees are to experience engagement, loyalty, job satisfaction and positive energy at work, and the lower their perceived levels of stress. When employees have one need met, compared with none, all of their performance variables improve. The more needs met, the more positive the impact.”

Meeting these needs goes far beyond the employee’s paycheck, their annual performance review, or even the annual bonus.

How much do you invest in “energy”?

The authors don’t recommend a specific amount or percentage of payroll to invest in energy efforts, but they do offer several ideas.

  1. Limit meetings to no more than 90 minutes.
  2. Set expectations for when and how quickly emails are addressed (so employee don’t feel compelled to answer within minutes an email received at 9:00 pm on Saturday, for example).
  3. Offer health and wellness options such as nap rooms, gyms, healthy food, etc.
  4. Reward the behaviors you want to see!

On that last point, Schwartz and Porath point out:

“It also makes a big difference to explicitly reward leaders and managers who exhibit empathy, care and humility, and to hold them accountable for relying on anger or other demeaning emotions that may drive short-term results but also create a toxic climate of fear over time — with enormous costs.”

In this, as in anything else, you get what you pay for. If you want to increase employee energy and, consequently, long-term results, then you need to invest to free them from short-term thinking and excessive stress.

What’s the ROI?

This is usually the first question asked anytime an initiative such as this. For just two of the core needs defined by Schwartz and Porath, the ROI is rapid and significant (quoting):

  • Value: Feeling cared for by one’s supervisor has a more significant impact on people’s sense of trust and safety than any other behavior by a leader. Employees who say they have more supportive supervisors are 1.3 times as likely to stay with the organization and are 67 percent more engaged.
  • Purpose: Employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations — the highest single impact of any variable in our survey. These employees also reported 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and they were 1.4 times more engaged at work.

We all know the ROI of lower turnover (anywhere from 50-200% of salary), and several studies point to the exponential ROI of increased employee engagement (Aon Hewitt’s is the most recent, showing 0.6% increase in sales growth for every percentage point increase in engagement). But how do help increase value and purpose? Simply taking the time to recognize and appreciate employees for their efforts is the first step. But to help employees realize purpose in their work, taking just a few minutes more to give context to your recognition – to tell an employee how their efforts specifically helped achieve a bigger goal or mission – delivers even greater impact.

What does this look like in the real world of business? Schwartz and Porath relate the below story from the CEO of multi-billion dollar chemical company, Albemarle:

“Mr. [Luke] Kissam, the Albemarle chief executive Tony first met more than a year ago, has taken up the challenge for himself and his employees…. ‘I can already see it’s working,’ Mr. Kissam told us. ‘Our safety record has improved significantly this year, because our people are more focused. We’re trusting them to do their jobs rather than telling them what to do, and then we’re appreciating them for their efforts. We’re also on the right path financially. A year from now it’s going to show up in our profitability. I saw what happened when I invested more in myself, and now we’re seeing what happens when we invest in our employees.’”

The emphasis is mine in the above quotation. That one statement is the crux of meeting all four core needs – trusting employees to do the job, getting out of their way so they can do it, then expressing your appreciation for work well done.

What’s your energy level (take the handy quiz in this earlier article from Mr. Schwartz to find out)? What can you do to improve your own energy levels? What can you do to remove the energy vampires for others?

If More Pay Won’t Retain Employees, What Will?

Image combining the words true and falseRecognize This! – “More money” is the safe, easy answer for why employees leave. That doesn’t mean it’s true.

Yesterday on Compensation Café I wrote about a survey showing that even though employees report being happier in their jobs, more of them are reportedly looking for a new job. I also wrote about Jessica Stillman’s perspective that, even though employees say “low pay” is the number one reason to leave, raises aren’t necessarily the answer.

Two very prescient commenters to that post (Jacque Vilet and John Bushfield) pointed out that more pay is the “easy answer” when asked “Why would you want to leave?” It’s also the “I don’t want to burn any bridges” safe answer employees give in their exit interviews as to why they actually are leaving.

But that doesn’t mean it’s true.

Of course, we’d all like more money in our paycheck, but pay alone often isn’t enough to get us to go through the process of searching for a new job. What does? We need to look at the next two items employees cited on the survey for the real reasons employees put themselves through the hassle of finding a new job:

  1. No possibility of advancement
  2. Underappreciated

Interestingly, these are the same two reasons cited in an APA (American Psychological Association) Center for Organizational Excellence survey I wrote about earlier this month. That survey found:

“The majority of workers (67 percent) continue to report that they are satisfied with their jobs. Yet, less than half continue to be satisfied with the growth and development opportunities (47 percent) and employee recognition practices (47 percent) offered by their employer.”

Do you see the theme here? The same two unmet needs are cited by employees who are satisfied with their jobs.

Think how much more productive, engaged and – yes – happy, employees would be if we could just figure out how to help them advance their careers and be recognized for good work. Reading between the lines, employees are clearly saying:

“I’m in a rut. I know my job and I do it well, but I’m bored and nobody appreciates the work I do anyway. I might as well go find a new challenge somewhere else.”

As I said in Compensation Café yesterday: Social recognition is one of the most powerful tools in the manager’s toolkit to both help employees feel more appreciated for the work they do and to assess employee job fit, contribution and potential areas for advancement. When the entire work community is involved in noticing and appreciating the good work of others, leaders gain much more information on where team members excel and contribute best. This information, when gathered in a strong system of record, can now be used for more effective talent management and advancement of careers.

Are you in a rut? Are your employees? What are your two greatest unmet needs in your work?

Compensation Cafe: Are Your Best Employees Holding You Hostage?

Compensation Cafe contributor buttonRecognize This! – Even happy employees are looking for new jobs… but raises aren’t necessarily the best answer.

Check out my latest post on Compensation Cafe where I share research from (and added insight from Jessica Stillman) showing an increase in employees saying they’re happy at work and a corresponding increase in employees saying they’re seeking new jobs.

What’s going on? As usual, the top three reasons reported for looking for a new job are more pay, career advancement and more appreciation. But that doesn’t mean a raise is necessarily the right answer.

Read the full post for more on what savvy leaders and compensation pros should be considering instead and the questions we need to be asking.

Onboarding New Employees into Your Company Culture

Image showing "welcome" in multiple languagesRecognize This! – Specific, timely recognition within the first 30 days is the fastest way to engage new hires into your organizational culture.

As an HR pro or hiring manager, you’ve gone to great time and expense to find a smart and talented person to add to your team. Now you need to bring that person on board and integrate him or her into the role quickly. A fast onboarding ramp means faster time to full productivity. Most organizations have good programs in place to quickly onboard new hires on systems, processes, job functions, role, objectives, etc. But what about onboarding into your culture?

Remember, your culture is the culmination of what employees do when no one is looking. It’s the daily (hourly) behaviors of everyone, working individually or together, to achieve business goals. How do you onboard new hires into that quickly?

I suggest the fastest way to onboard a new employee into your culture is to introduce them to it through their work. Educate them during initial new-hire training on your company’s core values and objectives. Suggest to them how those particular values might be demonstrated in what that person will do in their new role on a daily basis. And, most effectively, positively reinforce them for doing so through a strategically designed social recognition program.

What’s that? “Strategically designed” means every employee recognition moment is explicitly and specifically linked to demonstrating one of your core values or contributing to one of your strategic objectives. “Social” means deliberately involving every employee in the act of noticing good work in line with your values or objectives and recognizing others for them. “Social” also means expanding the reach of recognition through secure social sharing mechanisms to not only help positivity flow through the work, but to create a positivity dominated workplace and – yes – a culture of recognition.

Yes, of course you need to engage new hires in their work (read this article for great tips on getting new hires up to speed quickly in their work tasks). Recognizing them for doing that work well (even as they’re learning the ropes) onboards them into your culture that much more quickly.

Indeed, across our clients we see those employees who are recognized within the first 30 days of their tenure with the company engage in more recognition activity (both giving and receiving of recognition) than those who are not recognized within the first 30 days. This increase is by a factor of 3 or more!

Why does this matter? Remember, every recognition interaction is deliberately shining a spotlight on a company core value or strategic objective and how those are being demonstrated or achieved.

Think about your own organization or team for a moment. How much more successful would you be if every employee understood the core values and strategic objectives, was focused on contributing them, and knew when others were doing well in those areas, too?

Would You Buy from a Disengaged Retail Employee?

Image of book cover for "Pretending You Care"Recognize This! – Employee engagement with and deep understanding of brand values is especially critical in largely customer-facing industries.

Have you ever had a poor customer service experience while shopping? Think back on a recent poor service experience. What did that make you think about the company, that brand, and your future plans to purchase again from the retailer?

I’ve certainly had my fair share of bad experiences. While I don’t believe the axiom “the customer is always right,” the customer does expect a certain level of service based on how the company projects its brand values in the market. And the front line employees are the (literal) face of the brand to customers.

In retail (along with other largely customer-facing industries like hospitality), high levels of employee engagement are especially critical to success as nothing drives a customer away faster than a disengaged, disgruntled employee. Recent UK surveys published in Osney Media make this quite clear:

  • Employee disengagement costs the retail sector £628 million per year
  • A Maverick survey of retail employees found them among the most disengaged employees in Britain
  • An increase in employee engagement investment of 10% would result in an additional £2700 per employee per year in profits for UK businesses in all sectors (which equals 3% of current GDP)

Employees can’t project the brand values if they don’t know what they are.

Employees can’t engage with and demonstrate what they don’t know. As consumers, we expect a different experience if we’re shopping in Wal-mart or Macy’s Department Store or the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. As an example, these stores work hard to train their employees to meet and exceed customer needs and expectations for their environments. You wouldn’t walk into Wal-mart expecting a full-service perfume counter, for example.

Yet, the same survey referenced above revealed:

  • 77% of retail employees do not engage with their company’s brand values
  • 63% of those workers who do not engage with brand values have also never been trained on the importance of those values
  • 60% failed to understand how fundamental their employer’s values were to their own job roles

Think of the impact on Macy’s sales if a new employee, recently arrived from a career at Wal-mart, continues to deliver the service experience they were trained for at Wal-mart with no training or knowledge of Macy’s brand values and “how they do things.” The same negative impact on sales would be true if the situations were reversed. Look at the numbers in the first set of bullets. The upside is tremendous and immediate to an organization for properly training and educating employees on the company’s brand values and expectations on how each employee demonstrates those values in the daily work.

The article also points out:

“This only illustrates how in today’s challenging climate, the effective engagement of employees in the retail industry has become an increasingly vital requirement to maintain exemplary customer service levels and maximise sales. Making employees feel valued and striving to build genuine relationships with them can help retailers reduce staff turnover and build loyalty amongst employees, resulting in optimal performance – crucial to hitting requisite sales targets.”

The fastest, most effective and most immediate way of training employees on the importance of your brand values, including how those values are “fundamental to the employee’s own job” is through frequent, timely and very specific recognition of every employee every time he or she demonstrates a value in their work. That’s what makes the values come alive for employees in a way this memorable and meaningful to what they do each and every day.

What’s your favorite retail brand? How do you see their employees demonstrating the brand values?

Compensation Cafe: 2 Reasons Why a Pay Check Isn’t Recognition

Recognize This! — Recognition is critical to ensuring employees are in the right job and are valued for the work they do.

Check out my most recent post on Compensation Cafe in which I explain why a  favored phrase of lazy managers – “I don’t need to recognize employees. That’s what I pay them for.” – is so wrong.  Indeed, I dive into two reasons:

1) Assessing Job Fit  — This belief of lazy managers ignores the importance of job fit. The question remains – How do you make sure you have the right talent in the right job?

2) Valuing Employees through More than a Paycheck — Critically, if all you’re doing is paying employees to do a job (and relying on standard merit increases as a primary reward mechanism or doing so), you’re not really valuing your employees at all (merit increases are barely keeping up with cost of living these days).

If we do, indeed, believe that “talent makes or breaks an organization” (and I certainly do), then talent needs to be recognized and rewarded for the great work they do beyond their pay check alone. Great work deserves great acknowledgment – from everyone and available to everyone.

Click over to read the rest of the post.