Boost the Bottom Line with Carrots

When a crisis strikes your company — recession, increased competition, organizational or system change — do you want to curl up in fetal position and wait until the storm passes? That’s too bad, because the key to getting through hard times is right in front of you: your people.

Great managers know that their teams have the energy, ideas and commitment to get the company out of troubled waters. After all, they are the same people that made the organization strong in the first place. But when managers stop encouraging their people it sends a message: brush up your resume.

Instead, great leaders use praise, recognition, and celebrations as ways to build confidence, focus employees on the right behaviors, and retain and engage their key people. The bottom line for any company in turmoil is that recognition done right can inspire employees to engage in the cause of your organization and understand their important role in its long-term success.

So do yourself a favor. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Look around and see the people who help the organization survive and, with a little recognition and encouragement, do more than survive: thrive. Here are some simple suggestions to help you be creative and find day-to-day award ideas to keep recognition frequent and timely:

  • Turn responsibility into a reward. Ask an employee to train a new employee in a job function where the senior person excels. Explain what qualifies the mentor for this important assignment.
  • When it comes to appreciation, knowledge is power. Set a goal to find out one new thing about each of your employees today. Write down these details and refer to them later when you are seeking for ways to recognize them.
  • You may be a great manager, but you can’t be everywhere at once, so ask for help. Give your people a stack of fun thank-you cards and ask them to recognize coworkers when they see them furthering company values.
  • Better yet, give your employees a stack of paper airplanes that they can write on, re-fold and then fly to a co-worker.
  • Create a fun traveling trophy and present it to the person who best lives the team’s values that week. We’ve seen everything from GI Joe dolls (you da’ man award), to carrots (you are appreciated), to large stuffed animals (big dog award), to old bowling trophies.
Chester Elton

Chester Elton
Chester Elton is a motivational expert and New York Times Bestselling author of All In and The Carrot Principle. He can be reached at chester (at) chesterelton (dot) com.

Chester Elton

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