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Everyone likes to get stuff! Things like an income, benefits and perks that come with the job. The items mentioned are a given. Employees should get those items without even asking when they are a part of your team. All the other ‘stuff’ we give people is a plus. So, why do we still have a team of folks who are disengaged, enraged, even? How do I get them to go the extra mile & not stop at the first mile marker? How do I have an extraordinary team doing extraordinary things regularly? Is it possible? In short, the answer is yes. Let’s think of rewarding special effort beyond tangible items. Let’s include rewarding our team with our time by looking at ways to keep them extraordinary from clock-in to clock-out.
In this show segment, we will walk away with a better idea of how to reward our team for special effort in fun & memorable ways. Let’s dive in.
What You Need to Do
Do you remember being 2 years old? Or, do you know of someone with a 2 year old? When you try to help them do something, what is the typical response? “I do it myself”. Right? Then, when they have completed the task before them, they always bring a question to us – “Did I do good?” Did I do a good job, in reality, is not a 2 year old question. Rather, it is a human question that we never really grow out of. Getting affirmation from those we live with or work with has a tendency to bring validation to a person and says, ‘you are valuable to me, this family or this business’.
-If you can lead volunteers well, you can lead a team well. When I was in student ministry, I had 200 youth leaders who volunteered their time & talent. It was fantastic coming up with ways to pour back into them & let them know they were appreciated & valued.
--The same was true for the staff’s & team’s I would lead & need later. I worked with a young lady on the church staff that told me that she left a high paying corporate job to be on this church staff. That intrigued me, so I asked for what reason. Her response was classic & stated what every person really wants. She said, ‘I wanted to be on this staff because of the culture. They appreciate & value you in a way that doesn’t compare to any other place I’ve worked. Not only did I want to learn how this staff created a culture where they received everyone’s Special and Extra effort daily, I wanted to learn how I could contribute but learn how to keep the momentum going. Apparently, working on this staff was a reward in and of itself.
Refresh your team:
However you decide to do it, recognize the special effort others give you. Even if the result is different than you expected, the effort & heart given to a project is worth recognizing.
1. Nurturing Notes: They don’t take a lot of time to write, but they make all the difference in the world. Let’s talk about 3 notes to draw extra out of ordinary.
-If you dress up, select a day of the week that you will dress down. Have a Jeans day or a Themed day (country, sport, color of shirt).
-Get to know your team: Keep in mind that everything you do to reward & recognize special efforts on your team, your team will want to give you their very best. Suggestion: Have a show-n-tell day like we used to have in kindergarten. Have your team bring something to show-n-tell the rest of the team & why that item is special.
Affirmation your team:
When a person thinks highly of you, it’s a good thing. When you get a person to think more highly of themselves, it’s the best thing. John Maxwell is right when he says, “IF you express skepticism and doubt in their abilities, then they will repay you for your lack of confidence with mediocrity. On the other hand, if you show belief in people, they will go the extra mile to live up to your high hopes for them.” Find me a person who doesn’t struggle with self-esteem and self-doubt and I’ll show you a person who isn’t breathing. When we have faith in others – encourage them, empower them, make observations that lead to opportunities to better them, remain optimistic for them when life’s difficulties overwhelm them, they will begin to have faith in themselves. When we believe in others we give them a reason to believe in themselves.
Boss lunch day:
Pick a day each week where you take a couple of employees to lunch. Thank them for the job they do & ask how you can lead them better. Sometimes, we miss things that we don’t mean to.
Got your back day:
Select a day to give back to an employee. Whether that is providing child-care for a mom to give her a break, working extra hours for a person who has been over-achieving for you, or trading places with a team member for a day (do their job & let them do yours). However you decide to reward your teams special efforts, have fun doing it & create a culture where your people love coming to work. As Ken Blanchard says, ‘take care of your employees & they will take care of your customers’.
Serve Others Day:
It’s always a great idea to serve together. Those who serve together stay together. Select a local place where you can give back to the community you serve. Serving others motivates people to serve with you better. It could be doing a Habitat for Humanity project together, cleaning up a customer’s yard, taking up a collection to give to a community need, painting a house for an elderly person, the list goes on. How creative can you be in bringing affirmation and acceleration to your team?
Dream with your team & let your team better your dream:
-Make your place the best place to work in town. If a team member has to transfer away from you, make sure they can & want to take with them what they learned working for you. You want your vision to be attained, then, make your culture one that people love working in.
1. Have a dream meeting/retreat! It’s not the best idea from the boss that wins. It’s the best idea from the team that wins. Some of your best ideas may, in fact, come from others if you let them dream & take ownership of the company. When finished, bring back the ideas and implement them.
Close: Rewarding your team for special effort starts with letting them know you see them & value them. Get creative & customize your rewards to meet the needs of your team. Don’t do what everyone else does, that’s boring. Make your rewards unique & special only to your team & they will give you more than effort – they will give you special effort every time!
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Written by Boyd Hamlin
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