What Gets Recognized Gets Improved

Jason AlbaIncentivesLeave a Comment

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Decades ago Peter Drucker coined the much-used phrase “What gets measured gets improved.”

In a recent conversation with Eli, CEO of Snowfly, he was talking about how things that you recognize get improved… which is where the title of this post comes from. A little play on Drucker’s phrase, and pushing the work from analytics and tracking to a recognition culture and system.

Imagine you go into a one-on-one with your boss and she has a list of five things you are doing wrong. So-and-so complained about how you did this thing, someone else complained about how you did another thing… and your boss walks you through the five things you need to work on. Maybe she even gives you some articles to read or videos to watch to improve.

How do you walk out?

I’d walk out rather defeated.

Alternatively, imagine you walk into the meeting and your boss recognizes your wins and accomplishments, and tells you about some kudos that others have given you. She spends time building and praising and recognizing you.

I’m not saying she can’t carve out some time to address any of those five issues that need correction, if they really need to be brought up. But you’ll walk away from the alternative one-on-one much differently than you walked away from the “you need to fix this about yourself” meeting.

Recognition is not limited to just one-on-one, in person. Recognition could happen with an email to the team, or an email to the entire company. Recognition could be for huge wins as well as for tiny progress. The principle of recognizing is so powerful and so lasting. Your example of recognizing someone’s accomplishments or progress might be mimicked by others, who are new inclined to recognize others… and the culture shifts to one that nurtures employee satisfaction.

This is not about coddling employees. This is about creating a culture where things improve and people want to contribute.

Can you imagine the measurable ROI you could see, just from recognizing your team members?

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