January 19, 2023

And the Employee of the Year is…


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And the Employee of the Year is… by Joey HodgesBy Joey Hodges, MBA

AcceleratingCFO Consultant

Probably the biggest demotivator there is. It benefits one person on your team and creates a sense of failure as well as resentment with every other member of the team. Think about it. Performance bonuses and recognition are pretty transparent to employees. Don’t you think they realize that this increased productivity makes more money for the company than it does for them?

No business cannot succeed without its employees. It is essential that the employees know it. They need to feel it. The most successful employers find ways to make employees feel important and valued every day they come to work. Great employers celebrate the small wins almost as much as the big ones.  

The best way to make employees feel important is to engage them in the business.  Help them see that their opinions matter. Being a part of shaping the future of a company lets team members buy into what’s going on. It is also a great way to groom employees for advancement. Companies can develop engagement strategies that include bringing employees into decision-making processes, letting them help make decisions, and then showing them the impact of those decisions.

An engagement strategy should be structured in a hierarchy, allowing company managers to add specific activities within their department that support the overall strategy. Each manager is given the responsibility of implementing the engagement strategy for their area of responsibility. Key parts of an engagement strategy include:

– Future-based Activities: Where are we and where do we want to go?

– A Written Plan: Create a plan that is a living, evolving document. Make the plan available to the entire team, showing each person’s role in achieving the desired outcome.

– Consistent communication: Regular communication with every member of the team is important. 

– Goal posts and Checkpoints: The only way to get where you are going is to know where you are on your journey.

– Build in Fun: Instead of having an annual employee meeting with awards and a not-so-great chicken breast meal, spend the money on fun activities throughout the year.

– Take Care of the Team: Invest in your employees by helping them take care of their physical (income and health) as well as emotional needs (ensuring your employees feel important). Invest in resources that help your employees achieve work-life balance.

– Celebrate Every Win: Successful completion of multiple milestones lead to success. Remember the goal achievement thermometer posters? You can’t reach a goal unless you take all the steps leading up to it.  

– Share the Rewards with the Team:  You can’t give away the store, but sharing some of the extra profits with employees will help ensure their buy-in for the next project.

Wait, I just contradicted myself…sort of. I didn’t say that performance bonuses were a demotivator. It’s just that it takes more than monetary rewards to develop a team that gives a company 100% of their best, 100% of the time….and that’s the key to a successful business.

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