Monday, July 26, 2010

Should Your Employees Get Recognition for Progress?

I have been working on projects most of my career.  As I think back to the ones I most enjoyed, they were the projects that I had a passion for, had great team members, and feedback was continuous.

As I was reading an article, in May 2010 HR Magazine, entitled,  Raising Engagement, by Adrienne Fox,  I began thinking about the idea of feedback during projects or even just daily work and tasks.  Below is an interesting quote from the article:

"Recognizing progress in meaningful ways represents an engagement lever."  

As I thought back to my own projects, the continuous feedback is exactly the piece that kept me motivated to finish especially when the project was long and difficult.

I think recognizing progress is going to be very critical with the Millenials/GenYers that are entering and have recently entered the workforce.  This generational group has been used to being praised for progress their entire life.  I am not saying this is a bad thing.  I have done it myself as a Mother of a 17-year old.  I think back to his little league baseball games where he received a trophy for almost everything he did on the field.  "Yeah, you got on first base."  Of course, I am thinking, isn't a home run the goal here.   But that recognition going from base to base is motivating and engages the players in the game.  Engagement leads to motivation which is that "fire in the belly" (intrinsic factors) which lead to desired results.  Whether on the baseball field or in an office recognition for progress is important because:

1) It is reassuring that the employee is on the right track
2) It is a way to make adjustments if needed to resources, deadlines, etc.
3) It engages the employee in his work leading to the desired end result

So what does all of this mean to managers and HR professionals.  How can we incorporate "recognition of progress" into the performance management system?  How has your company accomplished this type of recognition?
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