People work harder to achieve what is valuable to them. One way you as the manager can make work more valuable is to give rewards that have value your employees. If you establish that there is a clear link between good performance and your recognition (reward) of it, you’ll find that people will be more motivated to help you to achieve organizational objectives. They’ll know that if they do a good job, you will reward them for it.
As far as possible, tie the rewards to particular behavior or achievement that you would like to see repeated. Say, “That was a great job you did on the XZ project. You deserve a lot of credit,” or “I like the way you handled that sticky situation with the Wilson account,” or “I wasn’t sure you were going to bring in that job on time, but you made it. Congratulations.”
Reward for performance and behavior
Managers often muddy up the clear link between performance and reward by handing out rewards for long service, loyalty, good work attitudes, etc. If you reward such things, make sure everyone knows that they are what you are rewarding. But as much as possible, stick to reward good work performance.
Reward soon after the event
What the employee has done that is praiseworthy is fresh in his or her mind soon afterward. Rewarding it at that point offers you greater insurance that the praiseworthy behavior will be repeated because the employee will know what earns the rewards. Also, immediate recognition underscores the value you place on the kind of performance being recognized.
Never miss an opportunity to reward good performance, even if it is just a pat on the back. People will soon get that all-important message: “Around here if you do a good job, the boss rewards you.”
Money is an important reward, of course. But chances are you never have very much of it to give. Don’t overlook nonmonetary rewards such as more challenging work (people like the feeling that they are growing), training that develop employee skills and knowledge, more access to you, more of your esteem and concern, a more desirable workplace, new furniture or equipment, praise, more discretion in doing work and in Schedules, and time off. These are just a few of the kinds of recognition you can extend for good performance.