Dr. Bob's Blog

7 Business Trends Affecting the Need for Employee Recognition

There are at least seven trends in business that are affecting the changing role of effective managing today:

1. The Need for Greater Employee Initiative.  Employees are increasingly being asked to be self-directing, autonomous and responsible for their own work, all the while acting in the organization's best interest. 
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What Do Employees Want?

In these tight, stressful, changing times what are the things that are most important to employees today?  I recently conducted a survey of about 1500 employees to answer that question.  Here are the top five themes I found employees said were most important to them today, along with some thoughts… Continue reading >


Using Customers to Recognize Employees

Customers can play an important role in recognizing employee contributions.  After all, who is in a better position than your customers to say what employees have been most helpful to them?  For example:

  • In the Most Valuable Player program at St. Louis's Busch Stadium, ten randomly selected fans… Continue reading >

    Revising & Renewing Your Recognition Program

    Even the best recognition program doesn't last forever.  To keep your program fresh and the energy for it high, you need to periodically review what's working well and what's broken with the program.  Indicators that your program might need a check up or complete overhaul include:

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    Recognition Keeps Returning Dividends at Boomerang

    If you’re having trouble selling recognition to top management in your company, sometimes you simply need to have a leap of faith and trust that the results will follow.  At Boomerrang Tracking/LoJack they overcame a strong executive bias against the use of employee incentives to launch a program that achieved… Continue reading >


    Making Successful Incentive Programs Stick

    Much effort goes into the planning and implementation of effective incentive programs to shape and encourage new employee behaviors.  Little is done, however, to help make those new behaviors become permanent in the workplace.  After merchandise awards are distributed to employees or travel awards are taken by top performers, the… Continue reading >


    Make Recognition an Everyday Event

    The best recognition that is most valued and remembered by employees tends to be individualized and personal.  Take time to add a personal touch in thanking your employees.  This can be as simple as an individualized note to each employee who directly reports to you, thanking them for his or… Continue reading >


    Fresh Coffee Is Its Own Reward

    In today’s challenging times, business owners and managers need effective ways to improve morale in the workplace and help keep staff motivated, especially when employees are being asked to do more with less. I conducted a recent national survey on environmental perks with Keurig, Incorporated (www.keurig.com), a leader in single-serve… Continue reading >


    Five Trends Shaping the Future of Work

    There are five major trends that will increasingly impact the workforce for all organizations: 1) The Growing Shortage of Skilled Workers, 2) The Rise of the Millennials, 3)The  Increase of Contingent Workers, 4) The Evolving Role of Virtual Employees, and 5) The Globalization of the Labor Market.

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    Effective Incentive Programs More Than Administration

    I'm often intrigued and a bit amused by incentive program guides occasionally published in the incentive industry.  Filled with useful information such as how to establish a budget and selecting appropriate rewards, they often seem to overlook what are to me critical elements to obtaining lasting success with any incentive… Continue reading >


    Recognition as a Feedback System: Managing the Rhythms

    I feel there is a “rhythm” to managing, an ebb and a flow.  A manager has to know his or her employees well enough to know when they need help, encouragement, support or a push.  I’ve had managers tell me that some of their employees can go for months without… Continue reading >


    What Do Employees Want?

    In these tight, stressful, changing times what are the things that are most important to employees today?  I recently conducted a survey of about 1500 employees to answer that question.  Here are the top five themes I found employees said were most important to them today, along with some thoughts… Continue reading >


    Every Employee Has a $50K Idea

    I’m convinced that every employee has a $50K idea if you can only get it out.  This may not be the first idea they have – it may be the 5th or the 15th.  Whether you get that many ideas and suggestions from the employee will be a function as… Continue reading >


    Plan for Spontaneity

    Most people think spontaneity means acting without planning, yet it is very possible to plan for spontaneity.  When it comes to employee recognition, in fact, the better you plan, the better the chance that you will be able to take advantage of recognition opportunities as they arise – rather than… Continue reading >


    Questions All Managers Should Ask Their Employees

    Asking questions is a great management tool.  Questions are seldom threatening if asked in an even tone, and they force the person listening to think instead of to react.  Here are a few questions I believe every manager should routinely ask his or her employees:

    “What one… Continue reading >


    Techniques for Keeping Commitment

    I'm increasingly intrigued by what keeps managers from acting on their best intentions to recognize employees on a more frequent basis.  It seems that you can raise their level of awareness as to the importance of recognizing employees and you can have them practice their interpersonal skills so that they… Continue reading >


    What Not to Recognize with Your Employees

    I often get asked "What do you do about employees who do not get recognized?"  For example, someone whose performance is not called out in a staff meeting or who did not receive an award for top performance.  This question amuses me, because it suggests that the person who is… Continue reading >


    Is Forgiveness a Business Skill?

    Recently, I was speaking in Los Angeles with 800 Human Resource managers about my latest book, Ubuntu! An Inspiring Story About an African Tradition of Teamwork and Collaboration (currently on sale for 50% off at www.UbuntuTheBook.com), and posed the question:  “Is forgiveness a business skill?”  Granted, we usually think of… Continue reading >


    Turn Employees into Company Ambassadors

    I’ve been blessed with having worked with thousands of companies and I especially love when I get to work with a company that instills a sense of pride in every employee so as to essentially make them organizational ambassadors.  How does this happen?  To me it is a few key… Continue reading >


    Be Creative When Rewarding Employees

    When it comes to rewards, most managers feel that the only thing that their employees want is more money.  While money can be an important way of letting employees know their worth to the organization, it tends not to be a sustaining motivational factor to most individuals.  That is to… Continue reading >


    Beware of Employee of the Month Programs

    Many companies use employee-of-the-month awards.  This award may include a photograph of the honoree with an engraved nameplate in the lobby of the business, perhaps a reserved parking place and/or a small cash bonus.  Variations on employee-of-the-month programs are almost endless.  At Acapulco Restaurants in Long Beach, CA, the honoree… Continue reading >


    Recognizing Employees from a Distance

    With the changing nature of work today, managers have to adapt to new circumstances for recognizing employee performance.  Increasingly, empowered employees are working more independently in their jobs with the authority and autonomy to act in the best interests of the company as they see fit.  The workplace itself is… Continue reading >


    Prepare Now to Keep Employees from Leaving as the Economy Improves

    Fifty-five percent of current employees plan to find a new position at a new company as the economy improves.  This includes 25% of your top performers, however you measure that distinction in your organization, and 75% of the youngest generation in your organization – most of whom have never experienced… Continue reading >


    Can Your Recognition Initiative Be Self-Funded?

    I’ve been intrigued by the idea of how recognition, reward and incentive programs, if designed correctly, can be self-funded.   If you start with the notion—which I do—that all recognition should drive desired performance that matters most to the success of the organization, it follows that all performance that matters typically… Continue reading >


    Hierarchy of Wants: The New Motivation

    If you’re trying to motivate your employees today, forget Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  If you want to connect with your employees in ways they value you’ve got to think in terms of their Hierarchy of Wants.  Today’s employees want the following in their jobs from Day One and as they… Continue reading >


    A New Era in Talent Management

    What with SAP’s recent purchase of Success Factors and Oracle’s buying Taleo, you might think the talent management needs of American business are pretty much all locked down.  Don’t bet on it.  One significant player still remains independent:  Halogen.  Based out of Canada, this full-spectrum talent management provider specializes in… Continue reading >


    Recognize What They Are Paid to Do or Just for Above and Beyond?

    Hunter Owen, of Luxfer, the international gas cylinder company based in England, recently asked:

    "Should we publicly recognize employees for doing what they get paid to do? Or should we only recognize those employees that go beyond the 'call of duty'?"

    This is an… Continue reading >


    Basics of Employee Motivation: One Size Fits One

    Most organizations approach employee motivation as though “one size fits all.”  If there is a recognition program it is typically targeted to include everyone.  Recognition tools are available for everyone.  Celebrations typically include everyone.  The truth of the matter is, however, that motivation needs vary from person to person and… Continue reading >


    Communication: The #1 Motivator

    In my research as to what most motivates today’s employees, the #1 response that employees report is open, honest and direct communication from one’s manager.  Ninety-five percent of today’s employees report that getting information they need from their manager is either very or extremely important to them and, in fact,… Continue reading >


    Getting Started with Employee Recognition

    With all the ideas I have in my book, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, people often ask me what is the best way to get started with recognition activities where they work.  Here are some guidelines that I have found useful in working with individuals and companies to increase employee… Continue reading >


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Role of Management

Dr. Bob Nelson


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