When I was in college, I took a psychology class on learning and motivation. One of the most poignant moments from that class was a story about the power of positive recognition.
My lab instructor told us that one of his undergrad groups decided to play a game with their professor. When the professor stood at the right-hand side of the room, they were very attentive, raised their hands to participate, and made eye contact while he talked. When he stood on the left side, they withdrew their attention and didn’t respond to him. Within three classes, the professor was delivering lectures entirely on the right-hand side of the room.
Imagine using recognition to have the same effect on your employees. Recognizing positive behaviors encourages employees to do more of them.
People have a need to feel “seen.” This notion feeds the four pillars of the Employee Experience: Connection, Meaning, Impact and Appreciation. Ideally, employees want to experience these pillars in a positive way. But lacking that — punishment and negative feedback is at least feedback. It carries the strength of connection and impact (even if it’s negative connection and negative impact). And it hits hard – it takes 5.6 pieces of positive feedback to counter one negative piece.
At a fundamental level, how do you want to motivate your employees? With positive recognition, or punishment? In their book Primed to Perform Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi argue that positive motivation is critical to employee performance.
How can you boost positive motivation?
Five tips for using positive recognition to boost motivation:
- Embed positive recognition into your culture. Ideally, adopt an automated system that employees like to use. Take a tour of our platform to see how you can use Kazoo to boost positive recognition.
- Create a system for regular, public peer-to-peer recognition. What manager can see all the great things their employees do every day? Regular, public peer-to-peer recognition gives managers actionable data and insight into what their employees are working on.
- Review your employees’ strengths in regular 1-on-1s. See our webinar on a manager’s guide to effective 1-on-1s for more ideas.
- Clearly communicate corporate goals, values and objectives. Give employees a structure to know when they are doing something right.
- Automate recognition and incentives for regular tasks. Save yourself and your employees time with a system for automated recognition of predefined actions or service awards.
For more times on using recognition to drive business-building behavior, see our guide on Building a High-Performance Culture.
Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit www.kazoohr.com