Encourage Employee Excellence

Helping employees reach high levels of achievement can result in bonuses for them and a payoff for the company, too.

Some employers are so busy checking up on staff members' whereabouts and performance that they have no time to encourage, recognize, and reward employees' excellence on the job. Consequently, workers may never reach their potential, and the company will not benefit from the application of top-notch skills.

The wise employer will develop a program that coaches company employees to work toward high performance goals. Not only will workers benefit from reaching their goals and being rewarded, as well as become more useful and valuable company assets, the company's goals also will advance due to the staff's hard work. Here are a few ways to guide your employees' efforts:

1. During annual review, help your employees set reachable goals. These may include a ten percent increase in sales profit, contacting another fifteen percent of the client base, or developing a software program to track customer orders for speedier delivery. Concrete goals like these help employees to plan reasonable objectives that will aid them in feeling good about their abilities even while their contributions are advancing the company's objectives. Write these out in recommendation or agreement form and keep a copy in the employee's file for later reference or clarification.

2. Provide needed resources and support. Your employee cannot expect to meet new or higher goals without company support. Additional staff members (full or part-time), a new line item for the budget, and materials or equipment to handle the job will show your employees that you care about helping them excel in their job duties. If you cannot readily supply needed support, brainstorm with your staff or with administrators to find ways of helping workers meet their goals through alternative means. Staff need to know you're on their side.

3. Recognize incremental progress. Review goals and objectives at certain intervals throughout the term of a project or the fiscal year. For example, if your employee's goal is to increase sales by twelve percent this year, check quarterly reports to see if a three percent gain shows up. If not, you may want to meet with the employee to discuss ways of making the next quarter more successful or consider adjusting the goal.

4. Praise staff members to others. Send memos to administrators, with copies to your employees, outlining their achievements and progress. Downplay weaker performance areas unless these require immediate attention. A verbal "Thanks for making this project a priority" or "All of us appreciate your hard work," along with a smile and a pat on the back can make your employee feel valued.

5. Sponsor an annual recognition event. Congratulatory announcements, plaques, awards, and bonuses can be given after a sit-down or buffet dinner. Make your employees feel special and honored for giving your company a prominent place in their lives. Consider awarding cash bonuses, flextime, an extra day off, or other tangible rewards, which everyone appreciates.

Everyone feels good about giving their best to a company that appreciates it. Look for ways to support, recognize, and reward excellence in your organization, and your employees will likely keep on giving.

© High Speed Ventures 2011