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Sunday, 30 June 2013

How Often Do You Praise Your People? That is the Reward They Value!

I have been thinking about the ramifications of change following last week’s blog and the effect that it has on people in the business. 

In essence what is always wanted from the team, at whatever level, are values aligned with those of the business, a positive attitude, good behaviour and a high level of enthusiasm and commitment? 

Not much to ask?  There are two critical questions at play here; do we have people in the business with these attributes and if not, how can we find them outside the business? 

In fact, there is a supplementary question to ask and that is, why don’t we have anyone in the business with these attributes?  That is probably even more important and needs to be examined, answered and corrected. 

One of my Vistage members says that there are two main criteria which every leader should understand and build on, namely people and communications. 

Every great commentator on leadership says that it is essential to have the right people in the business, to look after them and to help them to motivate themselves to a higher level. 

Note: to HELP them to motivate themselves.  I would submit that we can’t motivate people and even to think that we can is verging on the arrogant.  What we as leaders can do is to provide people with a working environment, in every sense, that enables them to self motivate, should they so wish to do so. 

The eminent American psychologist, Dr Frederick Herzberg, said that there are two types of motivational factor, the positive and the negative. 

Negative factors such as the physical working environment, company policies and procedures and salary need to be right, in which case they can pass by almost unnoticed. 

On the other hand if they are wrong, disliked or mistrusted then they can have a seriously negative effect of the motivation of the people involved. 

Positive factors are very much in the province of the leadership and their provision in a forward thinking business can help the team to build confidence in the leadership and in themselves. 

The positive factors are achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement and personal growth in declining order of significance. 

It is obvious that all these attributes can be offered by the leadership to a greater or lesser extent and it is essential that they are built into the ethos of the business.  Only by doing so can the highest level of self motivation be achieved. 

Add to these the need for acceptable inherent values in the team, aligned with those of the business (do you know what they are incidentally?), positive attitude and behaviour, enthusiasm and commitment and it’s job done! 

However, if the right people ate not available in the business or worse, have not been identified, then it will be necessary to recruit and that has issues which must be confronted. 

First of all, how best can we establish those essential attributes in a candidate before making the appointment?  Moreover the fact that someone wants to join you implies that they are dissatisfied for whatever reason with their current job so the question to ask is, why do they want to move? 

What has encouraged them to apply to join your company?  Is it just increased salary, or is it the lure of opportunity and the chance to learn and advance themselves?  All people who move jobs come to you with baggage and making sure that this would not impact negatively on your business is, to say the least, important. 

The role of leadership then is to provide a positive environment in which people can learn, flourish, achieve and prove their abilities knowing that they will be recognised and rewarded. That will lead to satisfaction and success.
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