In our industry, which consists of fast-based operations with instant results, we normally deal with the negative. The term "negative" defined as an "area of opportunity" to improve our results. Our focus, whether it is safety, productivity, expenses, or any other metric, is usually measured by the miss. Think about it - do we focus on the associate that does not have his safety glasses on, or on the associate who restacked a pallet because it was uneven?
This often carries over to our personal lives. Our family is very interested in sports. Many times when I try to coach or encourage, it comes off being negative. My son will go 3 for 4 at bat in a baseball game, and I'll focus on the one failure as opposed to the three victories. So, to me, this is one of my failures that I need to work on. I need to pause and really understand the situation, and then reverse my method of thought.
It's simple. Always acknowledge a job well done. Don't hoard compliments – give them often. It doesn't cost you a thing. Let others know that they are doing it right, and that you are pleased with their work. Celebrating the victories builds trust and loyalty with others. It encourages people to strive to do their best. Knowing that one is appreciated is a great self-motivator.
Match the compliment to that person's personality. Normally, there are three methods to provide recognition. The first, and most obvious one, is financial. The second is recognition in front of others, and the third is private recognition. Is this an individual who seeks public recognition - one who enjoys the limelight? Is this someone who prefers it in writing? Or does this person want financial gain? My experience with the last individual, to keep it from being short lived, is to award a gift card that the associate will share with their family.
Start today!! There are many ways to celebrate victories. They can range from a verbal compliment, to hand-written notes, to a luncheon, or even an e-mail. Any of these choices of communication can go a long way toward motivating employees. I guarantee that you will see positive results with your efforts.