Monday, July 16, 2007

"Role-Model" Recognition

Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated for a job well-done. That’s Management 101. According to Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First, companies that manage people right outperform companies that don't by 30% to 40%. Nonetheless, many managers unintentionally neglect giving recognition to their subordinates, as well as others in the company who deserve it, even though studies have shown that recognition motivates staff, increases morale, productivity and employee retention, and decreases stress and absenteeism.

I am not suggesting that everyone is equally dependent upon external recognition. (As one former client, who was a chairman of a Fortune 500 company, said, "How do I motivate people? I hire motivated people!") But occasional doses of recognition can stimulate even the self-motivated to greater heights.

At Makovsky we help our managers acknowledge superior achievement by our people through the “We Achieve” recognition system, which honors those who embody — and role-model — the firm's values, all of which relate to creating an environment in which quality work thrives:
… all in the name of excellence
… all with integrity

Employees who role-model these values are always client-focused — client advocates, client loyalists — outstanding team players, they impart knowledge to others and, last but not least, are great to work with.

"We Achieve" is based on giving recognition cards to others. There is a separate card, about the size of a business card, for every value. On the back of each card, in addition to "from and to," it asks for the "purpose." Thus, for example, if someone has been amazingly motivated and worked into the wee hours of the morning, doing an excellent job on Project X, someone might give him or her the "motivate" and "collaborate" cards, indicating why in the "purpose" section. Every two months the person in the firm who has received the most cards wins a cash prize, and the announcement is made at a firmwide meeting.

Approximately 2-300 cards exchange hands every two months.

As businesswoman Mary Kay Ash, once said, "There are only two things people want more than sex and money — and that's recognition and praise." Recognizing this simple fact of human life can yield impressive returns for a company … and its customers.

Our program not only encourages managers to recognize others, but stimulates healthy competition, goodwill, enthusiasm and hard work. Recipients are touched when they receive a card. "We Achieve" always ranks among the top-rated programs in Makovsky's annual employee survey. Strategically, it not only works to our clients' benefit but every other audience who wants to know what makes us tick.

Technorati Tags: role-model, recognition, praise, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Mary Kay Asg, initiation, innovation, collaboration, motivation, education, business, communications, public relations


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