Award Plaques

Written by James Lyons
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Acknowledging employees is one of the most important things employers can do to improve or sustain productivity. Frederick Hertzberg, a renowned behaviorist, devised a theory on motivation. He wanted to find out what truly motivated employees, what made one person perform better than another person when both employees had roughly equal experience, education, background and skills.

What he found might seem obvious to some people, but it certainly wasn't obvious to managers and employers. One of the things he discovered was that employees not only like being acknowledged, they actually perform better over a longer period of time when they are acknowledged. The employees experience genuine motivation when acknowledgment is part of the corporate culture. If you are a manager or a business owner, what are you doing to motivate your employees?

The Value of Awards

Rewarding and awarding employees is an effective way to acknowledge them. Smart companies have found ways to blend incentives and awards into job descriptions. The job is also a game. During quarterly meetings managers hand out award plaques to the top performers, giving them a permanent, displayable acknowledgment that the employees can show their friends and families. It's an incentive for mediocre performers to perform better and top performers to continue performing the way they are.

Adding a monetary incentive to the award also helps. However, Hertzberg's research suggests that the actual acknowledgment is more effective than a cash bonus. The money will only last a certain amount of time, but the acknowledgment lives in the memory and in the physical award. Employees want to know that they are making a difference and their work is valued and needed.

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