7 Business Trends Affecting the Need for Employee Recognition

bob's Blog Dr. Bob Nelson

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. 

2. The Changing Role of Today's Manager.  Managers have fewer ways to influence employees and shape their behavior (being coercive or authoritarian is no longer an option).  To be effective, today's managers must increasingly be like a coach, colleague, counselor and cheerleader.  Managers must create a supportive work environment that uses indirect means of influence to obtain desired behaviors and outcomes.

3. The Impact of Technology in the Workplace.  Technology in the workplace has caused worker alienation as more time is spent with technology than with managers.  As John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends predicted decades ago, the more "high-tech" we become, the more "high-touch" we need to be.

4. The Increasing Speed of Business.  The pace of business is ever increasing, making it more difficult for managers to take time to focus on people.  The increase in speed at work minimizes contact between employees and managers.  Most managers are too busy focusing on their own work and what's urgent that they have no time left over to focus on their people.  Managers may say people are their most important asset, but unless they show that belief in daily interactions, employees won't feel important.  The less time employees have with their manager, the more positive and meaningful that time needs to be.

5. The Need to Build Trust After Layoffs & Downsizing.  Coupled with the ongoing flux of change in most every workplace, employees need perspective, involvement and grounding more than ever before--and they need it most from their managers.

6. The Increasing Employee Need to Have Meaning in Their Jobs.  Workers today increasingly expect to have more balance in their jobs and family life.  Demographics indicate that the youngest generations of employees (Generation X and the Millenials) will increasingly demand work environments that they find personally more meaningful.  Fewer workers will be available in the post-baby boom wake and those that do exist will likely have fewer skills than previous generations, compounding the management challenge for motivating this generation of employees.

7. The Need for Low Cost Options for Motivating Employees Today.  In tight economic times rewards, recognition and praise are effective low-cost means for shaping and obtaining desired performance.  Rewards, recognition and praise really do work to motivate individuals and produce desired results, in fact, most studies on the topic indicate that employees prefer recognition and praise over money.

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