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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Interesting Read # 1 : Beyond The Paycheck: What We Wish For

Starting today, I will be sharing with you interesting articles about leadership and people management. I have been working in the Human Resource Dept.  for 5 years already and I know some of you also have your own field.
Here is an interesting article for today, hope you find this article beneficial not only for yourself but also to the people you are working with.
Plenty of studies show that pay increases only serve as a short-term performance motivator.
Certainly salary is important; every company should strive to compensate its employees fairly – even, if possible, more than “fairly.” Equitable pay is a given. But it’s also often true that receiving a raise is a lot like buying a new car. Pretty soon we ratchet our expectations upwards and even a new Ferrari is “just” a car (unless it's a Tesla, which is never “just a car”).

So where long-term performance is concerned, what matters more than pay? What do people wish for from their work? What helps employees feel truly valued and appreciated – and motivates them to do their absolute best?

1. Fulfilling goals. Goals are motivating. Goals are fun. Goals provide a sense of purpose and meaning to any task. Without meaning, a job is just toil… and toil sucks the energy out of people.
So how do you make a goal truly fulfilling? Show its purpose. Describe its relevance to larger business goals. Show how a goal isn’t just an arbitrary target but an outcome that truly matters.
Then allow employees to help create goals, both at an individual and a broader level. They may set even higher targets than you. And, when people help set a goal they are much more likely to achieve that goal… because they own that goal.

2. A true sense of mission. We all want to feel we are a part of something bigger.
Let employees know what you want to achieve for your customers, for your business, and for your community. And just like with goals, allow them to create a few missions of their own, because caring starts with knowing what to care about—and why.

3. Recognition.
Even though it costs nothing to give, praise is priceless to the recipient. So start praising.
Be specific. Be genuine. Recognize the employee the way she likes to be recognized. (Some people are uncomfortable with public recognition; others love to bask in the glow of applause.)
No one gets enough praise… and that’s too bad, because everyone loves to be recognized for their hard work, dedication, sacrifice… for just being awesome.
Genuine recognition rewards effort and accomplishment, reinforces positive behaviors, builds self-esteem and confidence, and boosts motivation and enthusiasm.
Recognition gives employees “permission” to be awesome. Help people be awesome. Praise is free – but it means everything.

3. Basic expectations. While every job should include some degree of latitude, every job should also have basic expectations regarding the way specific situations should be handled.
If you criticize an employee for shifting resources to a project that's behind – even though last week that was standard protocol, you risk crushing that person's morale.
When guidelines change, make sure you communicate those changes first. When that’s not possible, take time to explain why this particular situation is different and why you made the decision you made. Communication creates understanding, and understanding is everything.
But at the same time, employees also need…

4. Significant autonomy. Best practices can create excellence, but every task doesn't require a best practice. Why? Autonomy and latitude breed engagement and satisfaction. Autonomy also breeds innovation. Even otherwise “systematic” and “process-driven” jobs have room for different approaches.
Give your employees the freedom to work the way they work best. If someone screws up, don’t punish the many by creating rules and guidelines designed to “control” the mistakes of the few.

5. Meaningful contributions. Everyone wants to make suggestions and offer ideas. Deny people the opportunity to give input, or shoot their ideas down without consideration, and you turn people into machines… and machines don’t care.
Make it easy for employees to offer suggestions. Make it easy for employees to question, to challenge, and to share their opinions. When an idea doesn't have merit, take the time to explain why.
You may not always implement every idea, but you can always make employees feel valued for their ideas.

6. Genuine relationships. People don’t want to work simply for a paycheck. People want to work with and for people.
A kind word, a short discussion about family, a brief check-in to see if they need anything... personal moments make a lot more impact than meetings or formal evaluations.
A manager doesn’t have to be a best friend – and shouldn’t be – but she must always be friendly, and show that she cares on a personal as well as professional level.

7. Reasonable consistency. Most people can deal with a boss who is demanding and quick to criticize... as long as he or she treats every employee the same in one important way. While you should treat each employee differently, you must treat each employee fairly. (There's a big difference.)
The key to maintaining reasonable consistency is communication. The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume favoritism or unfair treatment.

8. Deserved opportunities. Every job should have the potential to lead to greater opportunities, either within or outside your company.
Take the time to develop employees for jobs they someday hope to fill—even if those positions are outside your company. (If you don’t know what an employee hopes to do someday, ask.)
Employees will only care about growing and developing your business after you show you care about growing and developing them.

9. An atmosphere of excellence.
Superstars want to work with superstars. Excellent employees want to work in an environment where outstanding performance is the rule, not the exception.
So be unreasonably selective about the people you hire. Then, work hard to turn around a failing employee or, failing that, to weed out the poor performers. As Drew Houston, the CEO of Dropbox, says, “You become the average of the five people you hang out with.”
As a leader, your goal is to surround every employee with awesome people. The best they have ever worked with. Make sure you do. And, if you liked this article, you'll also probably like Culture Code, a slide deck about company culture.

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