When you perform at your best, what is most likely to make you want to do it again?
McKinsey conducted a study in 2009 on financial and nonfinancial incentives; specifically looking at how effective they are and how frequently those incentives were used. Which were most/least effective? Which were most frequently used?
Here is the source article if you would like to go the article. I’ve taken the data presented in the article and created some visuals to help understand the impact of financial incentives and nonfinancial incentives.
This first graph is a scatterplot showing where each incentive is scored regarding its effectiveness (Horizontal axis) and how frequently it is used (Vertical Axis).
Here are the real data from the McKinsey study: Read More
Many companies are looking for engagement, how to increase engagement, maximizing engagement. Many are looking for the sign that says, “Pull the engagement lever here”
However employee engagement is an outcome, not an input or a lever.
Engagement grows out of other things. Achieving engagement is a success of doing other things right. Achieving engagement is a way of employees saying thank you. Engagement is the thermometer of how effective the organization is at shaping its culture.
Previous posts mentioned the Kick Ass and Higgie awards that serve as a mechanism to create a culture that grows engagement. Can your organization copy that mechanism and experience engagement?
In a previous post, I mentioned the Kick Ass Award and discussed how it served as a mechanism to recognize the great effort put in by a teammate. The same company, Pepper Group, has another fun thing they do to foster an engaging work environment and it’s called The Higgie.
The Higgie was inspired by Dave Higgins, hence the odd name “Higgie.” A long time ago the president of Pepper Group, Tim Padgett, worked with Dave at another company. One day he came into Tim’s office really excited about something he learned. Tim always remembered that Dave’s genuine excitement was reflective—and contagious—of how we all can learn from each other. (Think about the last shortcut that someone taught you. I bet it is safe to assume that you were excited to put it to use because it was so valuable to you. And I’m sure it spawned from a simple question.) What stuck for Tim was that we can all learn from anyone at anytime. The purpose of the Higgie is to highlight the process and call attention to ongoing learning. Read More
When recognition takes place it demonstrates appreciation for the effort that someone else put into a project or task. True recognition says, “I can tell you invested mental energy into this and I appreciate that”. Less than true recognition is empty lip service.
Here is a distinction between true recognition and lip service:
True Recognition: “You asked the client specific questions that helped us determine the requirements for their project. As a result, we delivered a high quality service to them and we have a happy customer.”
Non-specific recognition: “Good job on the project. The customer is happy.” Read More
I came across this blog post by UpstartHR where the employee experienced a period of feedback silence. This is likened to the “ignored” category written about here. The employee began to feel as though he did something wrong because of the lack of communication and feedback from his direct manager. The response of the manager was “Assume we’re good. If not, I will let you know”.
When it comes to studying employee engagement, Gallup is a great thought leader. They produce a lot of great research on employee engagement and they summarize the data quite well. The charts below are recreated using the results found in this article.
They have found that managers have a vital role in driving engagement. This is a no-brainer. But what type of management style results in employee engagement? There are many managerial workstyles and in this research, they examined differences among managers that focused on the strengths of the employee vs. the managers that focused on the weaknesses of the employee vs. ignored the employee. Read More
I recently met Tim Padgett, President of Pepper Group, a 17-year-old boutique marketing firm. I was introduced to him because we have something in common; we see the value in recognizing employees.
Here is the story of Kick Ass Awards that take place weekly at Pepper Group:
When you walk into the office, there are three poster-size corkboards plastered with dozens of previous nominations for the Kick Ass Award. In between two of the corkboards is a list of the company’s core values. Some of them are pretty interesting such as: Read More
I really enjoy watching TED talks and by far my favorite TED talk is by Daniel Pink. I have watched his talk so many times that I can almost recite it. First, he is a passionate speaker and second he uses evidence-based approaches. It’s a perfect blend of science and showmanship.
Research on 360 feedback assessments has shown time and time again that we are our own worst evaluators. It is difficult to look at our work objectively and critically. If we are biased in our self-evaluations, then who are the reliable evaluators of our performance? Simply stated: others. “They” are more reliable when evaluating our workstyles or performance. Whether “they” are our managers, our peers, or even our significant others, they have a perspective that is removed from our own bias.
Now that we know that others are in better positions to evaluate our performance, how can this evaluation be facilitated? In this post here, let’s use the terms feedback and evaluation interchangeably. Those two terms aren’t always one and the same, but for this conversation, let’s call them synonymous.
To set the ground rules, evaluation and feedback serve one higher purpose: to affirm good performance and to correct poor performance. However sometimes giving feedback can backfire resulting in unintended consequences. The intention might have been in good nature, coming from a place of care and concern, but the impact might be wildly different. This departure between intent and impact arises partly due to the method of feedback and the style used to offer the feedback. The feedback might be completely legitimate, but the receive might discredit it all due to the way it was presented. Read More
I was fortunate enough to hear Kevin Murphy speak at a networking event for Human Resource professionals some time ago. He is a distinguished professor at Penn State and author of “Performance Appraisal: An organizational perspective”; a book often used in graduate programs. During presentation on performance appraisals, he discussed that there is a criteria problem with performance. In common terms, there isn’t a single thing that we can point to, and measure that equals true performance. There are many facets to performance and difficult to condense into a single metric. Read More