Nobody wants to work for a boss that only makes demands and rewards the employees with nothing more than a paycheck. On the other hand, if a boss is too lax with the employees and is seen as more of a friend than a superior; then there is a good chance the employees will take advantage of this. I feel there is a common ground that can be utilized to ensure that your employees continuously perform well and hopefully enjoy working for you.
I’ve found that using 3 R’s when dealing with employees has given me a great balance between performance and employee morale. The R’s I am talking about are Reinforcement, Recognition, and Reward.
Reinforcement has two parts to it in my opinion. I feel that continuously setting ambitious goals and making it aware to your employees that you expect them to achieve these goals is crucial. This is what psychologists refer to as the self-fulfilling prophecy. In essence, people will perform how you expect them to. If you go into a situation and have a preconceived notion that someone will fail, there is a high probability that they will. This could be due to you not giving that person everything they need to be successful and in a way you almost sabotage them from the beginning because you expect them to fail. To avoid this, always have faith in your employees because you trusted your judgment when hiring them. The second part of reinforcement almost coincides with my next R; Recognition. I feel that constantly giving positive reinforcement around the workplace helps employees perform well. It could be as simple as agreeing that you like a marketing idea an employee presents you or as basic as saying “keep up the good work”.
Recognition is also very important to employees. Nobody wants to feel like they are being taken for granted or unappreciated. Many times when I have written articles I have mentioned my employees by name and thanked them for all the work they have done. For everyone else out there, ways you could recognize your employees could be as simple as telling them thank you every time you see them. If your employees are amazing and you want to show your gratitude you could take an ad out in a newspaper, post a status on facebook or twitter, or put up a gigantic poster in your workplace that describes how much your employees mean to you. I also feel that if an employee is doing a stellar job it is important to recognize this in front of every other employee as a motivation tool. If everyone can see how employees who do excellent work are treated, then they are more likely to strive to be an excellent employee as well.
The last of my 3 R’s is Reward. When employees are going above and beyond to make your life better, it is important to show your gratitude and appreciation by rewarding them. Recently one of my employees told me she was taking her boyfriend out to a restaurant for his birthday. I called up the restaurant and picked up their tab of $134. On occasion when I visit my properties I have been known to give my managers a 2 hour break and $40 which they have to spend. During the holidays I give my employees gift cards to restaurants. There are many ways you can reward exceptional employees. My employees have made my life better than I ever imagined so I truly feel a reward in giving back to them.
These are just a few ideas that can help you maintain positive cycle of performance and reward. We need our employees to make money and our employees need us to make money. However, by always having a positive energy in the workplace, I feel that optimal performance will be achieved. So after reading this I hope you take time to evaluate how you treat your employees and hopefully you can find the perfect balance between performance and reward. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my thoughts. Good luck to you in all your endeavors.