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Effective Employee Recognition Considers Personality Types

By April 13, 2013 No Comments

Employee recognition survey by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) revealed that only 29 percent of the survey respondents were satisfied with their company’s recognition process, as reported by The Wichita Eagle.   Even more staggering was the finding that only 43 percent of surveyed employees that work for companies with formal employee recognition programs were satisfied with these programs.  In the article, author Nate Regier reveals that the source of the dissatisfaction comes from a lack of consideration for how different types of personalities respond to various employee recognition incentives and rewards.

Personality Diversity

The Process Communication Model® (PCM) is a widely accepted and practiced management methodology derived primarily from the extensive research of Dr. Tabi Kahler.  PCM is based around placing people in one of six personality types: believer, do-er, funster, harmonizer, imaginer, and thinker. Each personality type has different motivational needs to take into account when developing your employee recognition programs.  For example, a funster may value a happy hour with the project team on the boss’s dime more than an individual gift. A thinker might be more motivated by a private lunch with a senior executive to share ideas directly with influential management. Harmonizers could want assurance that everyone on the team gets exactly the same value of reward.

Rewards Flexibility

Tailoring an employee recognition program to address the motivational needs of each personality type takes some thought and planning. Conducting an employee survey that requires all employees to participate can identify types of  rewards that are meaningful to your particular workforce.  Don’t be surprised to find that  monetary type rewards are usually the most popular (i.e. debit cards and gift cards.) However, when designing a program it would be wise to also offer rewards for those personality types that may not be as motivated by money. Some examples: prime parking spaces, lunch with the boss, catered lunch for your team and workday flexibility.

Remember the simple tenet that, when a recognition program provides rewards that the large majority of your employees will value, the program has a larger chance at success.

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