Welcome to the October edition of our monthly Business Performance newsletter. For our new subscribers, we extend an especially warm welcome. This month, we bring you news of Kiva's 6th birthday celebrations. Around the world, people will be celebrating Kiva's outstanding achievements in helping to minimize poverty in the world through assisting third-world business people.
Our feature article this month focuses on organizations that do not have a lot of money to put into employee reward and recognition programs. We share some practical and highly valuable tips on how to motivate employees even when you have a low budget.
Stay Up to Date
Keep up with all of the latest news and commentary by regularly visiting our Business Performance blog. Check out two of our recent blog posts on employee training and Appreciative Inquiry. Whilst you are there, why not share your view with others?
- Creating Short Soft Skills Training Programs
Have you ever rushed through a two-hour training program that should have been scheduled for two whole days? Here are some tips for turning a potential waste of time and energy into a useful learning experience.
- Appreciative Inquiry Principles and Assumptions
Appreciative Inquiry is a relative newcomer to the field of change management. This approach to organizational change offers us some very valuable insights into how to tap into and fully utilize people power in our places of work.
- Training Transfer Tip
The biggest challenge that trainers and managers face is getting people to practice and use their new skills once they return to their job. We share a useful strategy for changing participant mindsets while they are still in the training room.
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Are you running training programs and tired of creating training administration forms? Our popular Training Management Template Pack contains professional looking and customizable forms for every phase of your training design and delivery. Visit our Training Management Template Pack web page for a full description of each template and to download the pack today.
"The Training Management Template Pack had just what I was looking for! From the Employee Performance Diagnostic Tool to the Training Needs Analysis Spreadsheet, this group of invaluable documents allows me to gather, diagnose and organize a plan quickly and efficiently. Thanks Business Performance."
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Help Us Celebrate Kiva's 6th Birthday
Joining with Kiva is our way of helping business people in third-world countries tap into the funds they need to improve their lives and the communities in which they do business. Kiva is celebrating six years of connecting lenders with small business owners. There is every reason to celebrate, with loans approaching US $250 million in 60 countries.
Celebrations will be happening in 10 participating cities around the globe: Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Toronto, Montreal, London, Paris, and Melbourne. This is a great opportunity to find out more about how Kiva helps lift people out of poverty and have some fun at the same time. Find out more about the Kiva celebration in your closest city.
If you are in Australia, join with us as our Business Performance Kiva Team celebrates in Melbourne on 18th October. Visit the registration site to register or contact us to find out more.
Rewarding Employees on a Low Budget
Paying bonuses and salary increments based on how employees perform is not a viable option for cash strapped companies. And in many situations, paying out financial rewards for great performance can actually have a negative effect on company performance. We are sometimes asked, "How then can we reward our top performers?"
The answer lies in two parts. The first part is that simply recognizing good behaviour and achieving results is a strong motivator in itself. Employees crave for acceptance and recognition. Don't be fooled by compensation consultants that say that most people are motivated towards excellence by money. Simply acknowledging great performance satisfies a basic human yearning. The key message here is that simply recognizing when an employee excels is a reward in itself.
Recognition can be a simple "thank you" and a pat on the back or a hand written note. Make sure you say explicitly what behaviour or result you are commending. Otherwise your praise may come across as a gratuitous, self-serving remark.
The second part to this answer is that you can complement your recognition with a material reward that won't break your budget. How you reward is limited only by your imagination. The trick is to test your imagination on your employees. Ask them what they think of your idea and what rewards they would suggest as being meaningful to them. Here is a list of ideas to help get you started.
Promotion to next level
Reward excellent performance with a role at the next level in the organization. Just make sure that the person has the requisite skills to do the job or train them thoroughly before starting in their new role.
Certificate of achievement
Awarding a certificate that recognizes a goal or milestone achieved gives a warm feeling to many employees. Achievements rewarded can be a program successfully completed, sales target achieved or production quotas exceeded.
Paid time off work
Giving time off can be a very welcome reward for time strapped employees juggling family and work life. Especially for an employee working beyond the call of duty to complete a project or task, time away to share with their family or friends can be highly appreciated.
After a great team win in which the team reaches an important milestone or achieves a major goal, getting the team together for a company paid dinner can be most enjoyable. Further benefit springs from team members getting to know each other better.
Lunch with manager
Book a table at a local eatery and take the opportunity to get to know your star performer even better. Your employee will appreciate the special attention.
Collection of photographs displayed in a public place
Displaying photographs of your top performers is the non-electric equivalent of having their names in lights. Be careful that you don't pin up too many photographs as you will diminish the special significance for each employee displayed.
Lunch with member of senior management
Sharing a paid lunch with a top company executive will drive home the message that what the employee does is important and will encourage even greater performance in the future.
Formal letter of thanks with copy to executive and employee's file
A formally written acknowledgement of superior performance leaves a lasting legacy for the employee to cherish. Storing it on record and forwarding to the executive team further reinforces the deep appreciation expressed.
Catered lunch party
After a big win, call in the caterers to treat the team to a nutritious and tasty lunch. Team camaraderie will also increase as a side benefit.
These forms of reward are not meant to replace or diminish the need for fair pay and a healthy and supportive work environment. You will still need to offer reasonable pay for the work performed, ensure that the workplace is free from hazards, training is available, resources are sufficient, and so on. If you consider recognition and rewards as one element in this mix of necessary prerequisites for a high performance work environment, you truly will be rewarded with a winning team.
Read more ideas on how to recognize and reward employees.
Do you have people in your organization that you want to cultivate into a leadership role but don't know how to manage the process? Or are you looking to provide a career path for your employees but don't know where to start? Our Succession Planner software will help you manage your entire succession planning effort. From initially identifying your succession positions through to analyzing and reporting succession progress, this tool does it all. The familiar Microsoft Excel format gets you up and running as quickly as possible. Find out more and download the free demo version from our Succession Planner web page.
"I wanted to thank you for coming up with this tool. I presented our information to my manager's boss and he liked it so much he has asked me to spearhead this for the rest of our business unit at the corporate office."
Amy Sidney-Banks SPHR, Human Resources/EHS Manager
Visit our web site at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what's on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.