Archive for the 'quality' Category

Employee Recognition Resolutions for 2009

The New Year is traditionally a time for making positive changes. Many people resolve to quit smoking, exercise more, or eat less.

If you are a manager, why not make a workplace New Year resolution this year? There are things you can do that will improve employee attitudes, enhance service, product quality, and safety. Small changes can create big results.

I am offering the same seven resolutions that I offered last year because they are simple and will produce positive results.

1) I will resolve to spend at least 15 minutes each day simply listening to what my employees have to say. I will learn, among other things, what interests them, how they like to be recognized, and how they would improve their job.

Managers spend so much time ‘telling’ they can forget the value of listening. When I’ve asked employees to tell me what their managers do that makes them feel valued, listening is always high on the list.

2) I will resolve to connect the individual’s contribution to the organization’s objectives.

Many employees see no connection between the work that they do and the work of the organization. It is difficult for employees to feel motivated when they don’t understand the importance of their roles.

As the manager, you can connect the dots between what the employee does and what the organization does. Think about the organization’s mission, vision, and goals and how that translates to your department. Then distill that down to the individual employee. Communicate the connection at every opportunity.

3) I will resolve to offer five times more praise than corrective feedback.

Gallup research shows that 5:1 is the ideal ratio for increasing engagement. This can seem like a lot of praise, especially if you have a mediocre performer.

To provide the optimum blend, think in terms of acknowledging milestones, incremental progress, strengths, and valued behaviors. Show appreciation for additional effort, sense of humor, attitude, and a willingness to speak up about concerns.

You can even offer a positive word when giving corrective feedback. End the conversation by expressing confidence in their ability to change.

4) I will resolve to take one employee to lunch every week.

If you have a very small team, once a month may work. Try to get to everyone at least once in the first six months. During lunch, let your guest talk about whatever he or she wishes. Whatever you do, don’t make the lunch into a performance review!

5) I will resolve to put up a recognition white board and use it to note accomplishments.

Place a big white board and some dry erase pens in the cafeteria or another area where people congregate. Write notes of praise and appreciation to the team and to individuals. Encourage people to use the board for peer recognition as well. Erase items after about a week so that the notes are fresh and interesting. This will keep people coming back to read what has been written. (Idea courtesy of the BC Lottery, BC Canada).

6) I will resolve to identify a learning opportunity for every employee.

This doesn’t mean you have to send everyone to a costly seminar. Consider cross-training, new responsibilities, or even self-study. One of the top reasons people stay with a manager and stay engaged is because they feel challenged. Opportunities to learn is a prime motivator.

Find a way for each person to learn and grow that will improve their skills and level of engagement.

7) I will resolve to greet every employee I encounter, making eye contact and smiling, no matter how rushed I feel.

Does this sound too simple to be effective? Remember that employees want to be recognized and that at its most basic that means seeing and acknowledging the person. This takes virtually no time, but if you aren’t in the habit of doing it, it can make all the difference in the world.

Fast and Simple

Each of these seven resolutions takes no more than, on average, fifteen minutes per day. I know, I know that’s fifteen minutes that you  don’t have to spare. However, if you find the time, take the time, make the time, employees will make you glad that you did.

Choose one and try it on for six months. I promise you will see changes that result in improved attitudes and productivity.

Need reminders to make the habit stick? Sign up for free weekly recognition tips!

Copyright Cindy Ventrice 2007

Advertisements

Pride as Employee Recognition

In Make Their Day  I talk about the recognition that is inherent in working for an organization that employees are proud of. It may be that the company produces a great product or performs a valuable service. It may be the organization is making a significant effort to become a “green” enterprise. It may be that the company is heavily involved in the community.

It is valuable recognition when people can say “I work for _____” with pride in their voices. Their affiliation provides recognition.

When the organization is a social service nonprofit, pride comes relatively easy. It is a little more difficult for a for-profit corporation. It requires an internal and external PR effort coupled with real work to create something employees can be proud of.

 Do you say “I work for _______” with pride? I would love to hear your story. Tell me about your organization. What do they do that creates this sense of pride? Lets provide some positive press for some terrific organizations!

Using Improv Techniques to Teach Managers Recognition Skills

Recently I co-facilitated a session at ASTD ICE 2008 (American Society for Training and Development’s International Conference and Exposition) on using improv techniques to teach managers recognition skills.

As a student of improv for nine years, I saw many correlations between the skills improvisers master and the skills managers need to learn.

For a number of years I have been incorporating a few improv games here and there into my training of managers. I have found that from CEO to team lead, from HR to IT, low risk improv games really help participants gauge their current skills in listening, verbal and non-verbal messages, encouraging open communication, etc. They go from conceptualizing good recognition skills to really internalizing and using those skills.

I decided the results from using these games was significant and worth sharing with the training community. I proposed Using Improv Techniques to Teach Managers Recognition Skills as a session for ASTD ICE 2008. I was thrilled when they said they were interested and terrified when they said I had to be prepared to run the session for 300 participants!

Improv for 300 people… I had adapted games before for groups of 300-600, but this wasn’t adapting games, it was running them pretty much the way they were intended for 2-20 people! But improv teaches us to say yes, so I said yes, and quickly contacted my troupe director, Alex Lamb, who also said yes!

The session was a smash hit. Everyone was laughing and learning, including our Japanese translator. We heard from people who said that “This was their conference wow session!” “Wish there were more sessions like this.” and “The best of the best.”

The session was so popular and there has been so much interest, that my only regret is that the session wasn’t taped.

So Alex and I have a offer.

If your organization wants to improve your managers’ ability to retain and engage employees and are willing to pay our travel and professionally record our session we will consider doing the session at no charge. We want this video for promotion purposes and will need unrestricted permission to use it from both the organization and participants. This is a one-time only offer, so if you are interested let me know as soon as possible!

Remember, life is one big improvisation!

Cindy

By the way, here is a link to the handout:
http://www.astd2008.org/PDF/Speaker%20Handouts/ice08%20handout%20M309.pdf

And here is a conference brochure that lists the write up for our session under trends:
http://www.astd2008.org/PDF/Corporate%20Team%20Informationmailr.pdf

All the best,

Webinar – Make Their Day Employee Recognition

If you are reading this blog regularly you probably have an interest in employee recognition. You may even be in charge of recognition for your organization.

If you are unfamiliar with the Make Their Day principles of recognition…
If you would like to introduce others in your organization to these principles…

You may be interested in the 1-hour introductory webinar – Make Their Day Recognition for Managers.

In this webinar we will cover:

  • employee engagement and motivators,
  • what recognition can accomplish,
  • when recognition is a waste of money,
  • what makes recognition meaningful
  • lots of ideas for how to recognize!

This workshop is an excerpt of the programs that I do regularly for companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. It is designed to increase understanding, enthusiasm, and the quality and frequency of recognition.

If you want more information:  Click here

Insightful Millennial Post on Giving Feedback

Christopher Draven, a very insightful Gen Y/Millennial has an excellent post on providing feedback.  Check it out!

Webinar Offering

If you are reading this blog regularly you probably have an interest in employee recognition. You may even be in charge of recognition for your organization.

If you are unfamiliar with the Make Their Day principles of recognition…
If you would like to introduce others in your organization to these principles…

On April 22 I am offering a 1-hour introductory webinar – Make Their Day Recognition for Managers. In this webinar we will cover:

  • employee engagement and motivators,
  • what recognition can accomplish,
  • when recognition is a waste of money,
  • what makes recognition meaningful
  • lots of ideas for how to recognize!

This workshop is an excerpt of the programs that I do regularly for companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. It is designed to increase understanding, enthusiasm, and the quality and frequency of recognition.

If you want more information:  Click here
Hope you can join me!

Going Green

From Patagonia to Walmart, from solar panels on the roof to non-toxic packaging, from improved recycling to selling sustainable goods, companies everywhere are going green (or at least trying to convince us that they are).

 Going green is good for the environment. It is also good for the bottom line. That is why you see so much publicity about who is “green.”

 How do employees feel about working for a company that is going green?

I have found that people are proud to work for companies that do good. Pride in the workplace is one form of inherent recognition (recognition that comes from the work and workplace). So, from my perspective, a sincere “green” effort would contribute to this sense of pride.

What do you think? I have two questions:

1) What is your company doing to reduce emissions or consumption, improve water quality, etc?  

2) Are you enthusiastic to be part of the effort or does it seem like a scam to you?


My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


Subscribe to feed

Subscribe to receive as Email

a

Advertisements