Remember: What motivates you might not motivate them

by on February 10, 2012 · 2 Comments POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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If you’re casting about for ways to recognize and reward your people, keep in mind what the Irish playwright and wit George Bernard Shaw said:

“Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”

Dangerous assumptions
In other words, don’t give the reward you think you would like if you were in the employee’s position. You’re not in that position. Instead, give the reward you think the deserving employee would like.

How are you to know, though? Your ESP probably isn’t what it used to be.

Here are a few techniques to help you come up with welcome rewards – and not what the recipient perceives as irrelevancies, annoyances or even additional burdens:

  • Provide options. You might say, “I’d like to reward you for your consistent on-time delivery of key projects. I’m thinking I could either give you a bonus equal to a week’s pay, or instead let you have an additional week’s vacation time. Which would work better for you?”
  • Check your idea. Once you have an idea for a reward, you could bounce it off a close friend or even a family member of the employee.
  • If at first you don’t succeed… Despite your careful planning, the reward may miss the mark or fall flat. If it does, don’t be afraid to try again. And this time, ask for the person’s input. And above all, don’t conclude that the person is ungrateful.

Source: “How to Recognize and Reward Employees,” by Donna Deeprose.

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2 Comments on This Post

  1. Tina Mainar
    February 11, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    I completely agree
    that the reward has to be something the employee wants and to keep in mind
    that not all employees are motivated by the same things – and certainly not by the same things as YOU. I agree that the best thing to do
    is to ask what they want and have a variety of rewards available rather than
    offering a “one size fits all” reward system that really doesn’t quite fit
    anyone. In my blog, “Keep your Workforce Engaged – Employee Appreciation Ideas”
    (http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/?p=1906)
    I offer some ideas and suggestions about how to create a program that actually
    rewards your employees and makes them feel special.

  2. Tina Mainar
    February 11, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    I completely agree
    that the reward has to be something the employee wants and to keep in mind
    that not all employees are motivated by the same things – and certainly not by the same things as YOU. I agree that the best thing to do
    is to ask what they want and have a variety of rewards available rather than
    offering a “one size fits all” reward system that really doesn’t quite fit
    anyone. In my blog, “Keep your Workforce Engaged – Employee Appreciation Ideas”
    (http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/?p=1906)
    I offer some ideas and suggestions about how to create a program that actually
    rewards your employees and makes them feel special.

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