Posts Tagged ‘employee success’

“Go Ahead, Make My Day”

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

You may have thought of the look in Clint Eastwood’s eyes when he delivered his famous line as Harry Callahan in “Sudden Impact.” Interesting he was getting ready to have a morning cup of coffee when he discovers a robbery in the diner. When harm is threatened to one of the employees, instead of backing off, Harry steps up and confronts the situation. Through clenched teeth with a rough grumble he delivers the now infamous line “Go ahead, make my day.” Harry is trying to clean things up, make the bad better and help those who need him.goahead

Though Harry was able to make a huge impact alone, we know it takes contributing efforts from everyone to result in success. So what does this stroll down cinematic lane have to do with your organization?  Employees often feel out of control of situations at work and want to have someone step up and make their day, with lasting positive impact.  The leaders of the organization can make their day or break their day.  Managers and supervisors have an immeasurable impact on employee motivation and morale. Words, body language and facial expressions as the manager or leader, telegraph their opinion of the employees’ value to the organization.

If employees feel valued – they like their work – their morale goes up – productivity increases – the business becomes more successful – the employer can offer competitive pay and opportunities for growth – employees engage and motivation becomes catching – thus they feel valued and the cycle gains momentum and flourishes.

Building employee motivation and morale is challenging and yet can be simple.  Focusing on the needs of employees and understanding a leader’s impact on life at work can not only make their day, but it can make yours!  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start the Day Right .  Smile. Walk with confidence.  Greet employees in their work areas.  Share information over a cup of coffee.  Listen to ideas and concerns.  Let employees know it is going to be a good day.  You set the tone.
  • Show Appreciation with Powerful but Simple Words.  Please. Thank You. You are doing a great job. I appreciate your working over the weekend.  Thanks for always being on time. Success begins with how you approach people. Motivational words leave people feeling valued.  Spend positive interaction time with employees.
  • Set Expectations and Provide Feedback.  Communicate your expectations.  Let employees know how they are performing.  Timely feedback is critical.  Acknowledge positive outcomes.  Work with employees to understand what expectations were not met and how they can produce a positive outcome the next time.  Use encouragement and reassurance when appropriate.  Follow up.
  • Reward the Behavior.  Reward and recognize positive contributions, both publicly and privately.  Treat employees fairly.  When performance goals are not met, administer progressive discipline. Address problems.  Highly motivated and top-contributing employee morale counts on management’s consistency.
  • End the Day Right.  Be visible. Tell them to have a good evening.  If you ask how the day progressed, be prepared to listen and take action if needed.  Check with the supervisor.  What actions could help make his/her shift better.  Go home with reflection.  Return positive.

When organizations ask their employees about what they need and want from work they are often surprised to find out how inexpensive it can be to fulfill those needs and wants, and to create an environment of committed employees working toward a common goal. If you have any questions about motivating employees, contact CAI’s Advice and Resolution team to help you solve real-life workplace problems.



CAI Advice & Resolution team member Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide-range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.


Employee Recognition: Top Ways to Recognize Employees In the Workplace

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In Somebodies and Nobodies: overcoming the abuse of rank, Robert W. Fuller discusses the importance and impact of employee recognition in the workplace, by saying that “eliminating deficiencies of recognition in the workplace is proving to be as good for the bottom line as eliminating nutritional deficiencies were in the past for the productivity of day laborers.” Because of the current economic shift, the focus for most organizations has turned toward maintaining continuous workflow, and keeping the company, its clients and employees intact. With the day-to-day impact the economy has left on organizations, employee appreciation may often be forgotten. But can organizations really afford to place employee recognition on the back burner?

Employee recognition can easily be linked to employee engagement and company morale, potentially determining internal performance and results. Overlooking the importance of employee recognition may cause negative impacts to spill through the workplace and company culture. The reality is that all staff members work hard and want your organization to succeed and thrive through this challenging time. Now is the time to take a step back, recognize the value of the individual and show your appreciation. Yes, the stable paycheck is more than enough, but small gestures of recognition go far, and help employees remember they are a valued and integral part of the team.

Highlight employee successes – When customers or clients speak to the performance and service of your employees, do you make them aware? Publicly recognizing the efforts of your staff, and acknowledging the work they are committed to, is appreciated and respected.

Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition – Positive feedback from management is valued and always welcomed, but the recognition that comes directly from peers is often a true reflection of an individual’s performance and contribution. Coworkers who work together on a consistent basis see the moments of excellence that management may overlook. Find a way to allow employees to acknowledge each other. Do you have weekly staff meetings? If so, try and include this recognition by allowing staff to highlight the achievements of a teammate.

Take a break from e-mail communication – In a society that moves at such a fast pace, it’s rare that we take moments to handwrite our appreciation. This simple gesture goes further than you may realize. By taking time to write your thanks through penmanship, you remind your employees they are worth more than a quick “click and send” e-mail praise.

Food always does the trick – No one ever turned down a surprise staff breakfast, group lunch or gift certificates to dinner. Food is always a fan favorite and is a great way to gather employees for conversation that doesn’t involve the ongoing to-do list.

Celebrate the special occasions – Birthdays, engagements, wedding and baby showers – they all encompass the monumental moments of your employees’ lives. Organizations are able to connect with staff outside of a professional relationship if you celebrate the special moments of an employee’s personal life. As you begin to incorporate these celebrations into your culture, your company will feel less like a business and more like a family.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo source: CCL Staff