Do We Really Need a GOLD STAR?

Do We Really Need a GOLD STAR?

How Reward and Recognition Impact Human Performance

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Ever since we started school, joined a club, or played on a team, we?ve sought reward and recognition. The trophies, plaques, or diplomas signified that we achieved something significant. But as we moved deeper and deeper in our adult lives and professional careers, the accolades were fewer and farther between.

So, now that we?re all grown up, do we really need those gold stars anymore?

At this point in our careers, isn?t there enough history of performance, reputation, and business acumen to let the world know that we are competent, goal-oriented and successful people?

Many employees poo-poo professional award ceremonies as hokey, cheesy, lame, and self-aggrandizing. You get paid to do a job, and do it well ? isn?t that reward enough?

You?d be surprised how many business leaders feel this way. These are usually the same managers and directors that wonder why their people aren?t engaged, or performing up to expectations.

Recently, HR.com pointed out that:

?There are many reasons why employee recognition is so important in today?s competitive workplaces. But here are three significant reasons:

Reduced Turnover

This shouldn?t sound like rocket science because the equation is simple. Employees who are recognized are engaged, and engaged employees equate to higher retention rates.

Improved Team Culture

If you were in a relationship where you were abused, run down, and ignored ? would you stay friends with that person? Same goes for the relationships you have at work. Great relationships are fostered by positive environments.

Increased Performance

By incorporating recognition in your workplace ? just a small effort ? you can align the stars. Motivated and driven employees produce outstanding results. They are invested in their work and infused with a sense of mission. They know how their work contributes to the company?s values and goals.?

Recently, I had a colleague who received a major award for his achievement as a business leader. He definitely deserved the recognition, but he still felt awkward about getting awarded for his stellar performance. In fact, he was a little embarrassed.

I told him his award was important, for many reasons. First, it validated the great work he had done, for himself, and others in the organization. As human beings, at any level of business, we need to know that the company values the work that we do. We all want to feel that we?re making a difference, and adding to the success of the business.

Awards are a tangible validation of value.

Secondly, others need to see their colleagues be recognized for their achievement. It energizes the organization, and nurtures a positive, competitive spirit throughout the business.

Finally, and most importantly, rewards and recognition become tangible milestones on our personal and professional journeys. They are the very things that bolster our confidence when the going gets tough, and serve as a reminder to everyone that all our hard work is worth it.

These are the moments when we realize that the brightest star shines on everyone, and we?re all better for it.

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