Recognising the work that staff do can be trying. But if we look towards classical conditioning, we see how a rewards program can deliver results.
There are plenty of reasons to recognise employees in the workplace. Be it through a rewards program or a positive and thankful workplace culture, employers that appreciate the contributions of their team members can reap the rewards of more motivated and engaged staff. Consequently, this leads to better staff retention and, ultimately, a stronger employer brand.
So what is the first thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to recognising the work that your employees are doing?
What Russian dogs can teach us about employee performance
A famous study done during the turn of the century by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov laid the framework for what we would come to know as classical conditioning. This theory states that, through repetitive training, we learn to associate a particular outcome or response with a specific stimulus. By conditioning his dogs to link a bell chime to being fed, after some time, just the mere sound of the ringing would make the dogs salivate. Though primitive, these ideas definitely apply to employee recognition.
We condition our pets with food in the same way you can condition employees with rewards. If you want employees to continue doing the good work they do, then they have to have a reason to. A pat on the shoulder may be sufficient for minor successes, but if you want to incentivise your workers to truly go above and beyond what is required of them, you need to be able to adequately appreciate employee's major accomplishments.
A performance-based culture is based on the foundation of equal opportunity.
Using rewards as a stimulus for better employee performance
Essentially, to condition a culture of excellence and improvement, tangible prizes can really encourage people to strive for ideal behaviours. By doing this consistently, such as through implementing a rewards program in your workplace, eventually the very prospect of being a winner will motivate employees to perform at their best all of the time.
However, human resources expert and contributor to About Money, Susan M. Heathfield, explains that there is an important contextual necessity before such organisational benefits can be truly realised. She suggests that, above all else, making sure all employees feel like they can be recognised and rewarded should be the foundation upon which a performance-based culture is built. If staff feel that only an elite few are ever recognised for their contributions, be it due to a lack of visibility from senior management or perceived favouritism in the office, then those alienated will not be motivated to strive to excel.
For more information about recognition programs that deliver results, talk to the experts at Power2Motivate today.