There's nothing like a little healthy competition among co-workers, especially when their jobs are performance-driven, to get things moving. Employee recognition, whether it's something as simple as a gold star on a chart or as elaborate as a vacation getaway, will motivate your workers and improve morale.
The trick for a manager is to plan an employee incentives program that tests the skill levels of every worker. This lets you see exactly who has the right stuff--and who doesn't.
As a manager, you probably already know there are always a few people who rise to every occasion and fight it out for the top spot. These are your top producers, and they need little, if any, direction from you. So why bother with a rewards program if the same people are going to be at the top each time? The answer is simple: motivation.
Most top producers are driven already, but throw in a little healthy competition, and watch them soar. The recognition is good for them as well. Knowing that management recognizes and appreciates their efforts makes them work all the harder.
But what about the rest of the team? A good rewards program or contest can tell you a lot more than just who the best are.
While the top of the pile might be obvious, the rest of your pack might not be as well defined. The people who don't quite make it to the top positions may be perfectly good at their jobs, but they might not be the closers you need them to be. Any type of performance-driven contest can help you identify who needs a little help to get to the top.
After the contest or promotion is over, analyze the performance of the ones that didn't win, and try to identify which skills these employees need to improve on. Then schedule some training in these areas. It might need to be a one-on-one type of training, or maybe a group setting if there are several people who need the same type of instruction. No matter how you go about it, the desired end results are the same: Employees who are better at their jobs are better for your business.
As a manager, it's your job to determine which employees are not going to work out in your department. It's one of the hardest jobs you have but a good employee recognition program can help you determine who just isn't making the grade.
If you're on top of your staff performance, you may already know which individuals are struggling, and you may have already offered them additional training. However, if after all is said and done, the added employee incentives of a contest and a nice reward don't spur them on to a better performance, it might be time to let them go.
While most employees think a recognition program or promotional contest is just to spur sales or improve morale, a good manager knows better. If you design the parameters of the contest correctly, it can show you who's doing well, who needs help and who might need to go. Obviously, people aren't good, bad or ugly, but this analogy for their performance can be pretty accurate.