Do Your Managers Know How to Reward and Motivate Employees?

Many companies do not provide training to managers and supervisors on their recognition and reward programs, says Kimberly Abel, vice president of Employee Solutions for Maritz Motivation Solutions. In fact, only 25 percent of employers formally train their managers and leaders on workforce recognition and practices, she says, citing research from WorldatWork. “Unfortunately, it’s still more the exception than the rule, but I think it’s a trend that’s changing.”
Abel attributes the lack of training—at least in part—to an assumption that recognizing and rewarding employees is intuitive, and managers and supervisors should be able to provide recognition and rewards in a consistent manner across the organization. However, “like many things, it doesn’t work that way,” she says.
Managers who are properly trained on recognition programs tend to recognize and reward their employees more often and tend to achieve lower rates of turnover than managers who do not receive such training, Abel says.

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Training should cover several aspects of recognition.
First, she recommends training supervisors and managers on recognition practices offered by the organization (e.g., how to recognize employees, do it well, provide recognition in a timely fashion, and provide meaningful recognition).
Second, Abel says employers should train on the practical elements of those practices (e.g., how the program works, what the rules are, and how to evaluate employee performance for different levels of recognition).
Third, training should be provided on the tools available regarding employee recognition and rewards and how to use them, she says.
Fourth, since certain types of employee rewards and recognition must be counted as income, Abel says it is important for supervisors to be trained to understand how the organization tracks and manages such rewards.
Abel suggests incorporating training on this topic into existing training programs for supervisors and managers and providing job aids to educate them on recognition practices and tools. She also recommends providing refresher training, especially as new programs and processes are implemented and improved technology tools are adopted.

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at 23 motivational tips for managers and employees.

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