Recognition Through Leadership

Leadership can be measured in many ways.  One of them is through motivation.  How do you motivate team members?  What’s the prime thing that motivates your team or you?

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If you’re response is higher wages, then you are probably a supervisor or at least in some kind of a managerial position.  If your response is appreciation for a job well done, then you are probably a team member.

Motivating people is one of the more difficult tasks someone in a leadership position must do.  Because everyone is different, what motivates one person does not necessarily work for another.

What motivates?

In a study, people in a supervisory position were asked what motivates your employees.  The bosses perceived that employees wanted: 

  • #1 Higher Wages, and 
  • #2 Job Security.  
  • Appreciation ranked #8.

Then the employees were asked the same question.  What motivates you?  The employees said 

  • #1 Appreciation of Work Done, and 
  • #2 The Feeling of Being Involved.  
  • Higher Wages ranked #5.

The disparity in answers was dramatic.  It seems that bosses always want to claim that more money is the answer.  This is a lazy way of thinking about motivation.  If you work for me and you’re not motivated, it’s obviously the fact that you must want more money.  Forget that I don’t show appreciation or involve you in the work and priorities of the job.

Fortune Magazine recently published their annual report on the “100 Best Companies to Work For.”  Companies must apply, but worker surveys are done to validate what the companies say on their applications.  Fortune Magazine found three things:

  1. Inclusion has become the gold standard for employee-centric companies,
  2. The bar rises every year, and
  3. No, workplace happiness is not a myth.” ( https://fortune.com/best-companies/ )

How to motivate and show appreciation?   

There are many ways to recognize team member and show appreciation.  Try some or all of these.  

  1. Find ways to recognize people daily.
  2. Challenge them with special projects and see how they do.
  3. Find ways of showcasing success.  Do this in public for a job well done at a team or safety meeting.  
  4. Get them involved in a particular problem.  Since they are closer to the problem, maybe they actually have a solution.

There are other things you can do without spending money.  Have some kind of rotating “trophy.”  If you have a group of mechanics, maybe you paint a wrench gold and select the “Mechanic of the Week.”  Your company doesn’t have to have an established program.  As a boss, as a leader, as someone in a supervisory position you can create one on your own.

The rewards for looking out for your team can be great.  When your team produces more, is safer, or has fewer issues, management will notice that you are a true leader.

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