While the rise and fall of an organization is largely dependent on its leader, the workforce is its most valuable asset. Thus, a leader must be knowledgeable in handling team members. A CEO revealed that spurring the interest of employees to perform lies on a leadership secret - recognition.
"I'd like to share with you a leadership secret - a way to boost the morale of your team and motivate them toward excellence. Perhaps like no other aspect of leadership, this one behavior can supercharge your team!" leadership expert Bobby Albert wrote on Charisma Magazine.
"Every leader can develop a great workplace by incorporating recognition and praise into their culture," he also stressed.
Albert is the author of "True North Business: A Leader's Guide to Extraordinary Growth and Impact". He was also the former CEO of Albert Companies, recognized in 2011 and 2012 as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas. Currently, he is the CEO of Values-Driven Leadership, an organization that equips Christian leaders.
The expert shared that his advice is in accordance with the Employers Resource Council's (ERC) report, the "Great Workplaces that Excel at the Attraction, Retention, and Motivation of Top Performers," which is based on 15 years of surveys and interviews.
"Great workplaces show they appreciate and value employees and their contributions. They celebrate success often, and praise, recognize, and reward employees in a variety of formal and informal ways. They never miss an opportunity to say 'thanks' for employees' hard work," ERC reportedly states.
"When I was a young leader, I developed the habit of looking for opportunities to publicly give someone credit for doing a great job. I always look for a reason to recognize, praise and to say thank you to an employee," Albert said, citing Proverbs 3:27.
He then shared two ways in which the employees can be recognized.
First, informal recognition.
As a leader, the CEO said that he would walk around, talk to people and listen to the positive accomplishments or behavior of his employees.
"Then I'd routinely complement the positive behavior to the person and I'd mention it to others in the company. This served to inspire the original person and others that I described their behavior to," he added.
Albert pointed out that by echoing favorable comments, he "became the conduit for positive affirmations and compliments."
"This really helped to align the team and increase employee satisfaction and morale," he noted.
The other way is through formal awards.
Albert shared that his company set up different ways and awards to encourage and recognize workers. This, he noted, reinforced excellence and promoted self-esteem of the employees.
He then listed seven types of awards that his company bestows for recognizing its employees.
- "Values in Practice" (VIP) Awards - for employees who are practicing a company core value
- "Skill and the Will" Awards - given to employees who receive good feedback from customers.
- "Length of Service Recognition" - awarded to employees in five-year increments.
- "Departmental Goals Met" - reserved for the members of the sales and operations departments who meet the perspective department goals.
- "Log book Masters Awards" - for drivers who submit on-time, accurate and complete logbooks.
- "One Degree Difference Maker" Awards - given by the military/government traffic department quarterly for the employee who "made the biggest difference" during that period.
- "Quality is Contiguous (QIC)-Spotlight" - for an employee who wants to be given public appreciation by another employee
Albert emphasized that by recognizing the employees, leaders have a big opportunity to shape the organizational culture.