Thursday, August 16, 2012

All I Want is to BE VALUED



Employees are sick and tired.

They are sick of their pay being frozen while benefits and cost of goods sky rocket.
They are sick of doing more with less.
They are sick of not being recognized.

Notice I did use the word recognize and not reward.  I did that on purpose.

I have the honor of training thousands of people every year on topics like performance management and employee engagement.  It seems I hear a different sentiment coming from employees now that we are trying to climb out of this recession.  

What I hear from the employees is the need to feel valued.  Employees want to hear, "I appreciate your hard work and you hanging in here through our tough times."  As a manager, recognition is easy and doesn't cost a thing.  Yet, we get so busy we forget to acknowledge our rockstars.  I also believe those employees that are trying and are making progress need recognition too. (future rockstars)  So, I am not of the camp that only rockstars need the love.  I am of the camp that if rockstars don't get the love they will go get it from  your competition.  So, they HAVE to receive the recognition.  It is just who they are.  

I had a recent conversation with an employee who told me that when she says, "I want to feel valued" and it's not about money.  She told me it is the simple, little things that often time makes the difference:

1) Give an afternoon off, just because...
2) Get the opportunity to have lunch with a member of senior leadership
3) Asked to be put on a special project team, that is highly visible in the organization
4) Send a personal card,  handwritten thanking employee for their hard work
5) Keep employees updated on goals and objectives and what is happening at the company, this makes them feel valued because you are keeping them informed

I am not saying that recognition is your solution to all your retention woes.  I am saying it plays a big part to how connected your employees are to your organization.  Of course there are other drivers of why people stay:

1) Challenging work
2) Opportunity for growth
3) Employee development
4) Pay and benefits
5) Relationship with Manager
6) Goal alignment with organization

Employee commitment is a crazy thing.  Not everyone is motivated by the same thing and yet managers try and use an "apply all" approach to employee recognition.  

Think about your rockstars and your future rockstars.  Do you think they would jump ship for a few more dollars?  Have you recognized them this week?  

I see so many positive signs in our economy, that means that people movement is starting and will continue.  I believe it's much easier to keep rockstars than to find new ones.  

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