For Me? Wow thank you. I truly appreciate it.

What would you do if you received a jar full of red M&M’s as a thank you from your manager for a job well done or to celebrate your birthday or in recognition of your anniversary with the company. What? Really? Would you feel cheated? Feel it is a cheap reward? What kind of reward program is this? Or would you feel special? Uplifted? Have it create loyalty to that company and manager?

Before you decide – let me tell you that my FAVORITE treat is M&M’s (NOT SMARTIES) and my FAVORITE color is red. Now if this was delivered to me on a beach on the Greek island of Naxos, I would name my next grand child after my company!

Because of so much in the press recently about the continued success of ILoveRewards, and the inspiring and often hilarious Tweets I see everyday from BAUDV!LLE, this topic has been stuck in my head for a few days. There are some fabulous rewards/recognition/incentive companies in the HCM space, that range from rewarding with the traditional trophies and motivational posters to gift cards to cold hard cash. But managers need to keep the momentum going all the time, switch it up, surprise, and show that they care, and that they listened, and that they knew something about what makes the employees tick – NOW that would say something to me.

Let me tell you a little bit about the management style of a good friend of mine, Zachary, who happens to manage a very large group of employees within an RPO company. When a new hire comes on board, he spends time with them to welcome them, give some basic onboarding items, and then spends time “chit chatting” about the new employee. He asks questions about recent holidays and the favorite place you would like to go. He asks about family, passions, past times, charitable causes, and even things like: favorite color, restaurant, animal, car and so on.

First of all, that would certainly make me feel like he wanted to know about me, but Zachary creates a reference sheet on the conversation and the specifics of the employee. When he wants to reward an employee – he refers to this sheet and POW! he creates something that is very, very meaningful. Like red M&M's. (I am sure that he has some help from his right hand person, but the concept and decision is his).

This does not a full Incentive program make – in fact, it could be very difficult to maintain frequently, but to increase morale on your team and beyond at certain times, this pinpoints a concept that will forever be the driver for Motivation – Recognition – Loyalty; that each employee is an individual and has just been shown that they are appreciated.

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