Reward and Recognition Program Ideas

The size of your organization and the age of your workforce dictates which type of rewards and recognition program works best. One organization improved motivation and almost eliminated turnover by creating a family environment including special incentives.

Every year employees celebrate their work anniversary with a cake and receive $100 for each year employed made out in a check.

Twice a year employees’ children receive a … [ Read more ]

Encouraging Promotion and Prevention Behavior

E. Tory Higgins, the Stanley Schachter Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, argues that one of two states tends to dominate the way we think: a promotion focus or a prevention focus. The basic distinction is really to do with when you’re pursuing goals or making decisions. The promotion state is when you think of your goal as something to accomplish, something to aspire to; … [ Read more ]

Promoting Social Interaction at Work

Xerox PARC, a pioneer in attempting to maximize the social nature of information sharing, had its researchers doing short postings outside their offices on current projects, so passersby could rapidly discern where they might want to talk more with the occupant of the office.

What Anonymous Feedback Will (and Won’t) Tell You

A survey evaluating a team’s performance can be a powerful tool for making that team more effective. And the first message that consultants and HR professionals often communicate on these surveys is: “To ensure that the team gets the best data and feels protected, we will make sure responses are confidential.” The widespread assumption is that if team members know their answers are confidential, they … [ Read more ]

Measuring Change Implementation Effectiveness

Metrics are as important for change initiatives as for any other aspect of running a business. If you are embarking on a change initiative, it is important to monitor how well it is going. One useful item to track is employee engagement and understanding. Do your employees understand the reasons for the change, the goal of the change and what their role in the change … [ Read more ]

Kill the Stupid Rules

“Kill the Stupid Rules” is an exercise that focuses attention on non-essentials that get in everybody’s way. Most stupid rules are enshrined policies that, over time, become “how we do things around here” — that is, part of the culture. Often they’re minor but familiar irritations: expense documentation requirements, IT departments’ blocking of access to useful websites, monthly operating reports that eat up significant amounts … [ Read more ]

Lunch Roulette

Breaking down functional silos is key to everything from encouraging communication to building valuable connections to sparking innovation. But, as we all know, bridging interdepartmental chasms is far easier said than done. Fortunately, some companies are starting to come up with creative solutions. Take, for example, Lunch Roulette, a new concept being used at the U.S. arm of pharmaceuticals manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim (BIPI).

Like many good … [ Read more ]

First Month in a New Leadership Role

When Chip Bergh was made President and CEO of Levi Strauss, he spent the first month mostly listening. He came up with a set of standard questions: What three things must we preserve? What three things must we change? What do you most hope I will do? What are you most concerned I might do? What advice do you have for me? He sent the … [ Read more ]

Open Book Management Tips

HCL delivers detailed financial performance data broken out by business unit regularly to employees’ desktops. This has stimulated employees to ask more questions, volunteer more ideas, and challenge their managers more often. In turn, everyone is making better decisions — the kind of decisions that directly affect the customer’s experience. Similarly, in a bold twist on the 360-degree employee appraisal tool, all appraisals are posted … [ Read more ]

Have Every New Employee Do Customer Support for Two Weeks

Have every new employee do customer support for two weeks. The first week is a typical “first week at a new company” which includes a formal day of orientation on the first day. The next four days are structured around on-boarding the person and getting them involved in their role and their team, but not too deeply. This allows there to be a “break in … [ Read more ]

Letting Employees Choose Their Next Assignment

Managers of a product team at Microsoft offered employees the chance to pick their next assignment, rather than having the leaders hand down those decisions. In this case, to retain top talent in a competitive market and to boost employee satisfaction, team leaders pitched their projects to employees, allowing them to evaluate the opportunities and chart their own course. Some managers worried that participants would … [ Read more ]

The Best Way to End a Meeting

Instead of asking, “Are we all on the same page?” or, “What am I missing?” and accepting predictable responses, one should conclude a meeting by going around the room and asking each person to say aloud what she is committing to do and by what date. If you establish a pattern of asking people at the end of a meeting to explicitly state everything to … [ Read more ]

Encouraging Independent Projects at Work

I would have a policy like Hewlett-Packard had when I worked there, before starting Apple. They encouraged you to work on little inventions of your own, and you would get some financial support from the company to build them. The company benefits in two ways. You’re becoming better at designing things for the company because you’ll force yourself to learn ways to solve your own … [ Read more ]

Team Alignment?

At one well-known energy company, the five executives of a top team were asked to list the company’s 10 highest priorities. Alarmingly, they listed a total of 23 priorities; only 2 appeared on every executive’s list and only 7 on the lists of more than three members; indeed 13 of the 23 priorities appeared on only one list. In other cases, the team doesn’t agree … [ Read more ]

Commuication Summaries on Friday

Send out a Friday email with “good news” from the week, highlighting the achievements of each of your team members. If he/she is willing, go even further and have the CEO speak to the team every Friday on hot topics, concerns, achievements.

Encouraging Mentoring

At McKinsey mentoring is regarded as a vital part of the development culture but is still not as common as it should be. To encourage it, several McKinsey offices now ask all associates at regular intervals which partners they view as mentors. Although a small number of partners were named by as many as a dozen associates, most partners were surprised to find that fewer … [ Read more ]

Safeguarding Knowledge

Retirement represents the loss of a worker with the skills needed to perform a specific job. It may also represent the loss of crucial knowledge whose value to the organization extends far beyond the worker’s individual position.

Freightliner, a large truck manufacturer based in Portland, Oregon, has anticipated this dual risk. It set about assessing the extent and severity of the risk, focusing on employees who … [ Read more ]

Improving the Relationship Between Sales and Marketing

If you have a disparate relationship between sales and marketing and want to get it together in rapid order than try the following gambit that has worked for Mark Walker, Head Coach of Marketing Whisperers, Ltd.

Give the sales team carte blanche to build an outline for a Marketing ROI model – without any marketing input. They will love it! Then tell the marketing team … [ Read more ]

Encourage Fun and Games

Your first challenge is to attract the “ideators,” the people who traditionally come up with the biggest ideas, regardless of the topic.

Great ideators tend to be a bit competitive. Tap into that. Post challenges—through your intranet, bulletin board, or e-mail system—on behalf of clients, and offer prizes for anyone who can come up with the answer within a set period of time. Competitive, inventive people … [ Read more ]

Change the People or Change the Job

If the service you’re delivering is disappointing—if it’s average or spotty in a model you assumed would produce reliable excellence—a common explanation is a mismatch between your employees and the jobs you’ve tasked them to do. Sound at all familiar? If so, we advise companies to first try to get a sense of the size of the employee-job gap.

First: Go undercover. Get out of the … [ Read more ]