People grow tired of working for unappreciative organizations. If it goes on long enough, the top performers get frustrated and leave. Therefore, it’s important to develop a culture of appreciation.
But rewards and recognition can be tricky. People are motivated in different ways. John may be thrilled by his challenging project work and the opportunity to learn something new. On the other hand, Susan is supercharged by gestures of appreciation—public recognition or a simple thank-you card.
Furthermore, many project managers don’t have the budget for doing much. How can we create a recognition and rewards program that shows our appreciation and motivates our team, sometimes with limited means?
Here’s the good news—many studies have shown that employees value personal recognition more than money. In other words, it’s possible to create meaningful recognition and rewards programs with a limited budget.
When developing a human resource management plan, be sure to include a rewards and recognition plan. Predetermine how and when you will recognize your team members.
Aubrey Daniels, a leading authoring on performance management, explains the difference between rewards and recognition: “You reinforce behaviors and reward results.”
Here are some tips to make reward and recognition programs effective:
Each time you recognize others, seize the moment to reinforce your project objectives and values. Help your team members see the connection between their efforts and the results.
Here are some examples of informal rewards:
The way we see it, spending $1 on something clever and unique is better than spending $50 on something ordinary and forgettable. —Richard File
Here are some examples of formal rewards:
The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.—Phil Jackson
It’s your turn. For your next project, develop and include a rewards and recognition program in your human resource management plan. Talk with your project sponsor to get their input and to agree on the budget for these matters. As you execute the program, ask for feedback from your team members. Discover what’s working and what’s not; tweak the plan going forward.
For additional information on motivating your teams, click here to watch Dan Pink’s TedTalk—The Puzzle of Motivation.
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