The classroom has been invaded by the computer and other new methods, but the fundamentals of a good education still rest with mastering the three R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Most companies have been similarly invaded, but the basics of a sound management system still rest on three R’s. When it comes to managing people however, the three R’s include reward, recognition, and respect.
The main element of a company’s reward system is its compensation program. The development of a compensation program is an important opportunity for management. The reward system should be more than an administrative necessity, it should be designed to reinforce and further the objectives of the organization.
There are three essential requirements for an effective compensation program. The program must meet the tests of internal equity and external equity while providing an incentive. Internal equity implies that all employees are compensated fairly according to their respective contributions within the business. External equity implies that all employees are being paid fairly when compared with others outside the business who are performing similar services.
All reward systems should include an element of incentive. In a small business, incentive compensation programs offer the opportunity to share success, focus effort on objectives, and to reduce fixed compensation expense.
Regardless of how well designed or how generous they may be, monetary rewards alone will eventually be insufficient for attracting, motivating, and retaining the best people. All employees need recognition for their efforts and accomplishments if they are to consistently perform to the best of their abilities.
Recognition, unlike reward, depends on the personal touch, not the Midas touch. The impact of rewards are linked to finances The impact of a recognition program is linked to personal involvement.
Successful recognition needs to be personal, timely, and consistent. There is no substitute for the close personal involvement of the boss. Recognition means the most when it is related to and closely follows the behavior or event being recognized. There is little correlation between the cost of an award and its symbolic value. Recognition programs should be consistent with company policies and values.
Management can create opportunities for recognition by breaking company objectives into interim goals. While most companies have an annual sales objective, monthly sales goals provide twelve additional opportunities for success and weekly targets create fifty-two opportunities to recognize success.
Once the opportunities for success have been created, managers should do more than sit back and evaluate performance. If success enhances performance, it’s an important function of management to insure that success takes place. The role of the manager should be that of a coach and helper, not a judge or observer.
The two most common shortcomings in recognition programs are recognizing only the top performers or failing to recognize performance at all. When only the top performers, like the winner of the sales contest, are given special recognition, the large number of other potentially valuable contributors go overlooked.
When a company fails to recognize performance at all, the pride, self esteem and motivation of the majority of employees goes untapped. If there is no difference in the amount of recognition given to those that are willing to make the extra effort and those who don’t, average performance will become the rule, excellence the exception.
People feel better when they are successful. It is difficult to feel successful unless your success has been recognized. Recognition programs are success therapy. People that feel like winners win!
Opportunities for individual recognition are important, but they should never be allowed to interfere with team building. Recognition programs should be carefully considered to insure that they do not pit one employee against another. Opportunities for individual recognition should not be limited to a few, but should be available to all who are deserving.
There will always be those times however, when the rewards and the recognition don’t seem to justify the effort. All the time, but particularly during the hard times, it is important for people to know that they are respected for what they do.
Not everyone can be the best. Every organization has a totem pole. Some are up at the top and some are down near the bottom. But every link in the chain is important. Each and every individual deserves respect. An employee who feels respected for what they do, whatever that may be, will return that respect with a job well done.