Recognize This! – Honesty, clarity and trust are at the heart of the employee relationship.
As most readers of Recognize This! know, I have the honor and privilege of also being a contributing blogger on Compensation Café, which is hosted and edited by Ann Bares. Over the last many months of contributing to the Café, I’ve found I have much to learn about the ins and outs of compensation from my fellow bloggers. I tend to stick to the topic of employee recognition and rewards, perhaps branching out into how that impacts Total Rewards, with an occasional post on annual bonuses to add some spice.
My point is, when you work closely (if virtually) with others who have a different (if related) focus, you expand your opportunities to learn. And yet, much that is true for employee compensation – the hard core details of “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work” – is also true for strategic employee recognition and reward.
Case-in-point is this recent post from Ann Bares’ personal blog, Compensation Force. Ann makes the important point:
The wisdom Ann offers here is just as true for employee recognition and rewards – indeed, for employee engagement overall. Reading between the lines, the three things employees most want from their employers are:
1) Honesty – Employees understand the state of the slowly recovering economy. They know why certain actions may have been taken over the last months or years. Communicate with them honestly about past actions and future plans (on any topic).
2) Clarity– Be sure such communications are also clear and simple. Avoid the “legalese” and simply tell it like it is. In recognition, this has many applications, just one of which is telling employees quite clearly, “Recognize each other for demonstrating these specific behaviors and values in the daily work.” Give detailed examples of what those behaviors and values may look like. Leave as little up to question and interpretation as possible.
3) Trust – Bringing honesty and clarity to the fore naturally generates increased trust. But without honesty and clarity, it will be very hard to ever encourage trust among employees for management overall.