By Matt Collins
Halloween - scary costumes, decorations, pumpkins, hay rides and CANDY! If you’d polled children on Saturday to find out their favorite aspect of Halloween, they'd almost assuredly have put candy in the number one spot. But wait a second—why are the kids so excited? Don't they have candy all the time?Think about how this relates to employee recognition. You've probably been to houses during Halloween that load up your kids pillowcases with fistfuls of penny-a-piece hard. In these cases, the quantity of candy your child is receiving is much greater than average. But whoa! The next guy gave them each a king size candy bar! Squeals of delight from the pirate and princess for something really memorable.
How much "candy" does it take for workers to feel they are valued?
For some employees, receiving frequent recognition is important to help them stay engaged in their job. For others, they value the type of recognition more so than how often it occurs. The important thing is to ensure that you are determining the proper blend of recognition needs for your culture and individual employees.
Now that Halloween is over, and the candy has been put away, are the kids in sweets withdrawal? Do your employees feel that same void when recognition for their efforts is overshadowed by economic worries and survival mode commentary?
DDI's recently released survey, "Pulse of the Workforce", indicated that 42 percent of individual contributors feel as though their efforts are going unrecognized. Of those, three in five say they will look for another job when the economy improves (four times the amount of those who do feel recognized). What is your organization doing to avoid falling into this trap?
Recall the reactions of kids you know this weekend as they received their favorite or not-so-favorite types of candy. Then think about how your coworkers will react if you can identify the type of recognition that motivates them, and supply them accordingly. Don't just shower your coworkers with a bag of mixed goodies—send them their favorite sweets every now and then. They'll appreciate it, and maybe even send you some back.Matt Collins is marketing and sales coordinator for Development Dimensions International (DDI).