Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Fishing Rod Dilemma

I never liked the phrase Employee Recognition; it just seemed to affiliate pats on the back with showing up... a benefit more than a measure for compensation, a "nice to have" more than a critical measurement of success. It should also be noted that the concept of Employee Recognition was created by fulfillment houses and "off the shelf" technology activators.

Recognition evolved into Engagement when organizations sought to understand the return on their investment in a bunch of trophies. 

The question emerged: how can we replace trinkets with platforms for skill development?

We've also learned that incenting just revenue or individual product movement can inspire manipulation while ignoring opportunity for Behavior Change.

But, there is still hope for Employee Recognition.....

Look not at what you see in the open field. Turn to the forest to identify a pathway through the trees.

More than giving a logo-ed lamp for showing up, we need to focus on three key areas:
1. Individual Development
2. Visibility of Achievement
3. Flipping the Process

The Lone Wolf
After great research Adamson & Dixon identified 5 personality types in sales professionals that amplified (or deterred) success. They found the best contributors exhibited behaviors synonymous with informing the process and collaboration. They called out reps with a "Lone Wolf" mentality as determined but not fully formed.

What if self-determination is all you need?

Any honest Manager would tell you that they seek to recruit people who require as little attention as possible. Self-sufficient and confident are key traits of The Lone Wolf. People develop the Lone Wolf mentality when they have experience, self-confidence, an extended personal network and intense solution-based knowledge.

In truth, we've overlooked the fact that the Lone Wolf could indeed be our greatest asset!

Your best reps may not want to take a trip to Hawaii, they'd rather be DOING their job than talking about doing their job.

If we can give them the tools, trust them to execute and provide self-administered tools of Recognition... everyone will be happier, more productive and less distracted by the obligatory.

Where Employee Recognition has evolved into Employee Engagement, Performance Management is the next wave in recognizing successful behavior traits.

The SCARF methodology was created to give Employees that ability to stack rank their individual preferences for advancement. These personality types range from those seeking public validation to those who simply want to be left to their own accord (there's the Lone Wolf again).

The S in SCARF stands for Status. Here, we're detecting a characteristic that directly rivals The Lone Wolf (a distinctly different, but eqaully effective, avenue for Recognition).

More than money, organizational purpose or flexibility; there are those who want to move up the ladder. Their thirst for recognition thrives in the publication of their achievement and the opportunity said publicity may create.

Commercial Insight
There was a time when sales people wore suits and attended seminars on "how to sell". Turns out, the best way to convince someone to do something is by showing them how it works and why it is important to them.

How do you know what's important to them?

Replace sales training with research!

You could reward your revenue producers with incentives on products or by revenue increase but recent case studies have revealed a danger in game less-than-fool-proof rule structures.

Its time to revisit Autonomy (see SCARF methodology).

When people are entrusted to develop expertise, they create a knowledge base that cannot boxed or sold:

  • This turns salespeople into consultants
  • Takes the commodity out of the equation
  • Creates irreplaceable value

... The concept of Commercial Insight is another from the pages of Adamson & Dixon that empowers employees to develop a path to their own Engagement.

Independence can indeed be more important than collective effort!

The challenges we set forth for ourselves can be more demanding (and therefore rewarding) than any cookie cutter corporate objective.

With Big Wins rooted in personal development, Employee Engagement becomes Employee Euphoria!

The Power of Reciprocity
If you are still struggling to understand if the intent of your effort will yield results....

Throw a Boomerang into the Wind!

Organizations have for so long been in the mindset of commanding that they may have failed to notice they get back what they give to their employees....

Good for Good & Bad for Bad!

Instead of forcing employees to buy into the mission why not let them create for themselves?

Don't Forget to Remember!


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