Chapter 3. Recognizing and Rewarding High Performance

In This Chapter

  • Emphasizing positive consequences

  • Finding the right motivation for today's employees

  • Being generous with praise

  • Strategizing recognition and rewards

  • Rewarding employees as individuals and as a team

The question of how to motivate employees has always loomed large over managers. Most of management comes down to mastering skills and techniques for motivating people — to make them better, more-productive employees who love their jobs more than anything else in the world. (Okay, maybe you'd be happy if they just liked their jobs and didn't complain so much.)

You can motivate employees in two ways: rewards and punishments. If employees do what you want them to do, thank them with positive consequences such as recognition, awards, money, promotions, and rewards. Alternatively, if employees don't do what you want, punish them with negative consequences such as warnings, reprimands, demotions, firings, and so on. By nature, employees seek positive consequences and shy away from negative consequences.

This chapter deals with the positive side of employee motivation, especially recognition and rewards. (We cover the punishment side in Chapter 18.)

Managing Positive Consequences

Research shows that you can improve employee performance more effectively by using positive consequences than negative ones. We aren't saying that negative consequences don't have a place; sometimes you have no choice but to punish, reprimand, or even terminate ...

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