C-level executives are constantly dealing with the duality of business goals—specifically, the tug and pull tension between investing (i.e. spending) for the future or reporting elevated revenues now. In many cases, their decisions come down to an either or proposition: Do we spend now for improved results tomorrow or do we show investors a better current return?
I’m here to tell you that you can do both. The secret is to get better results from your enterprise-wide motivation framework.
The enterprise-wide motivation framework is the collection of programs and activities business have built to addresses both employee recognition (which when done well can rapidly raise engagement, productivity and retention returns) as well as sales incentive programs (which when designed correctly can do things like focus reps on immediate revenue opportunities, close forecast shortfalls and accelerate customer renewal activity).
But isolated reward and recognition activity, while well intended, can actually drain precious resources. One-off programs can duplicate expenses, confuse participants with conflicting objectives and leave activities that drive productivity and incremental sales dollars unaddressed. That leaves money on the table—and worse, off the balance sheet. The bottom line is just that; left unattended your enterprise-wide motivation framework won’t do all it can to help your key executives drive real-time revenue from their recognition and incentives investments.
To make the enterprise-wide motivation framework work for you—and do so now—you need a comprehensive approach to designing, implementing and managing the spectrum of non-cash reward activities you have in place.
That’s our expertise. We begin by carefully examine your objectives (as well as your obstacles to getting there) and apply proven technical solutions that give you and your company the speed, flexibility and cost control you need to address the range of opportunities in front of you.
Begin to think (and plan) in the context of your enterprise-wide motivation framework and you will gain new allies in the c-suite.
This is a big time of year for college football. The good ones are poised to win conference championships. The best will get invited to big-time bowl games.
Be it football, basketball, any sport really, most casual fans can’t begin to appreciate all the work that goes into preparing a team. Long before the season starts coaches are getting their players ready to win. Most follow a simple formula: Skills, Systems and Strategy.
What does that mean and how can it apply to the working world?
Skills: Coaches make sure all their players are prepared to do the job. In sports that means focusing on the basics, like blocking and tackling. In business it means the same thing. Making sure your employees, or sales people, have the skills, ability and “know how” they need to succeed. If they don’t use training, certification and reward programs to get them up to speed.
Systems: You have heard the expression there is no “I” in team. Everyone needs to knows and embrace their role. The good ones have formations and set plays they run over and over in practice. It’s their way of operating like a unit. Use your reward and recognition systems to promote collaborate, cross functional team work and intra-departmental coopetition. That’s a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page. Last time I looked there is no “I” in company either.
Strategy: Coaches are constantly thinking: How can we deploy our skills and our systems to beat the other guys? What they come up with is literally the team’s game plan. What’s yours? Do your employees know it? Do they believe in it? Use your reward system to convey the company’s strategy in a context that the individual can understand, identify with and act upon. Use recognition storytelling to show how it was adopted. All of that will help ensure your employees are implementing the game plan at actionable levels.
Use skills, systems, strategy and rewards to prepare and motivate your team and you too will have a winning record.
It will be Thanksgiving soon; a time to count your blessing and give thanks for all those positive things in your life like good health and a loving family.
Thanksgiving can also be a hectic time–traveling here and there across crowded airports and freeways or shopping and cooking the turkey with all the trimmings. As we scramble, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
That’s why–as you get ready for the long weekend–I want to remind you to give thanks to the important people in your work life. Those employees and coworkers who give of themselves to help you get things done, who go out of their way to serve the needs of coworkers and who satisfy (and sometimes delight) customers along the way.
If you are a manager you can really make an employee’s day by recognizing them. Employees are more motivated and engaged when you recognize their talents and acknowledge how they use those unique skills to contribute to the organization’s success.
When you recognize employees and do so consistently, they become more engaged in their work and that connection shows. They increase profits through higher levels of productivity and they are more customer-focused and more accountable. They own issues and outcomes and that commitment helps create stronger and enduring customer bonds.
And they set examples for others around them. In other words higher levels of employee engagement mean better profits, loyal customers and brand ambassadors throughout the company.
All of that, of course, makes senior management very thankful as well.
Did you happen to see World at Work’s 2013 Trends in Employee Recognition report? Some interesting numbers to ponder within all that data, but here are a couple of findings that caught my attention. Eighty eight percent of all organizations have some type of recognition program in place with 70% offering between 3 and 6 different programs. However the average number of programs offered declined from 4.5 to 3.9 year- over- year.
Hold on, does that mean businesses’ reliance on recognition is fading? Does that mean that activity is declining? No! Funding rates as a percentage of payrolls have basically remained unchanged. To me it signals that program activity is being consolidated for maximum efficiency and effect. And that means that in order for individual programs to survive and be considered successful, they must be designed to have broader motivational value and impact. To continue to win the battle for budget, programs need to live up to an increasingly elevating standard.
Here is something else that’s interesting: Length of service awards, above and beyond performance, peer-to-peer initiatives all continue to be mainstays of recognition portfolios. Not a surprise there. But programs to motivate “specific behaviors” have risen sharply in utilization—up some 40% since 2008. This signals to me that organizations are getting very strategic and very precise about what they want employees to do and are more reliant on the efficient translation of goals and desired behaviors to a specific range (sub segments) of employee constituencies.
I’ve talked before about HR needing to think and execute like marketers. This data suggests that the most effective and efficient employee recognition planners are the ones comfortable with doing just that—gaining more traction with less programs and gaining more alignment (by that I mean an emotional connection) with employees by speaking as specifically as possible to targeted segments of workers. In that regard “recognition with precision” could be the biggest trend of all worth noting.
Want a bigger seat at the planning table? A reporting suite that is reliable, accurate and delivers data in real-time is your ticket to getting one.
To prove you employee recognition program or sales contest is working—or to suggest where it can perform even better—you will need access to actionable information
All of the programs delivered by Madison are web-based—and therefore accessible 24/7. That means program knowledge and the insight that comes from robust analytics is at your fingertips.
Our reporting assets run the gamut, from filterable management reports that track and isolate program activity, to enterprise-wide diagnostic and control systems that show aggregated data correlations in easy to comprehend dashboard formats.
In fact, of all the dimensions our system offers, the ability to go deeper into the data, quickly and easily, has the broadest business value.
You see at any point you might be called upon to draw comparisons, test assumptions make recommendations. And you might need to get pretty detailed in your response—or at least understand the particulars of your data so you can offer a more nuanced assessment. With Madison’s intuitive reporting structure you can move from global to granular with just a few clicks. You will know exactly where the program is—or isn’t—having the desired effect and you will be armed with the analytical insight to make suggested readjustments on the fly—like shifting content emphasis in your communications to certain segments or pushing out training tools to underperformers.
This flexibility—propelled by easy access to the data—elevates our client partners as the “go-to” resource for strategic recognition advice within their companies. It’s what gives them the best seat at the planning table.