Rewarding Your Team

This post provides ideas, tips, techniques and processes on how to really show your appreciation and reward your Teamers with these topics:

The Performance Review – Perhaps you might be wondering “How can a performance review be thought of as a reward to a person?” The simple truth is that people want to know how they are doing on their jobs. Helping your Teamers understand and agree with their performance and perhaps more importantly, how to improve is viewed as a “reward” to most folks. As I said earlier on Job Description, most people know what a Performance Review is, but few know what a Performance Review can be. I’ve had good, great and really bad reviews over my years and once you’ve had a great one you will recognize the difference it can make for you as a reward. It is critical for you to involve each of your Teamers in the process of doing an interactive Performance Review.

A really good Performance Review process has these six steps:

1. The Performance Review Form – You need to develop a form or document that defines the areas to include in the review. I suggest that you cover at least these topics - job knowledge, quality of work, quantity of work, timeliness of work completed, performance on objectives, interpersonal relations and development of subordinates.

I also encourage you to define each of these topics to include the appropriate Job Success Talents described earlier to help to fine tune the review and agree upon the desired skills, performance and improvements. For example, under Job Knowledge you could include written communications, oral communications and decision making.

2. The Summary of Accomplishments – The first step in the Performance Review process is to have your Teamer collect and write down their accomplishments for the period being reviewed, that is projects completed, projects in progress, training completed and ideas and suggestions made. Once the two of you agree on this Summary of Accomplishments it serves as the basis for the review of their performance. I encouraged my Teamers to keep a log to record their accomplishments during the period instead of having a “panic” effort in trying to recall them.

3. Do “Drafts” of the Performance Review Form – After agreeing on the overall content of the Summary of Accomplishments, ask your Teamer to do a “draft” of the Performance Review Form based upon their feelings on their overall performance. You also need to do a “draft” and then share and compare the two. You will be surprised at how frequently their ratings match yours.

4. The Performance Review Meeting – Set aside a special time for this meeting with your Teamer to review and compare the two “drafts” of the Performance Review Form. The overall goal of this meeting is to reach agreement and consensus on the review ratings. Focus on the differences in your “draft” ratings. Ask your Teamer for examples of performance for ratings that don’t agree. Also spend time discussing what they feel that they did very well and what they really liked doing during the period and also what they would like to do more of and less of in the upcoming period. You may not be able to meet their requests but it is important to understand their wants and try to help.

5. Define Goals for the Next Review Period – Now it is time to set goals for the upcoming period and address any areas for improvement and training needs. Make sure that your Teamer participates in setting all of these goals for their next review.

6. Performance Review Agreements – Once you have reached agreement on all of the review categories and set goals for the next period make copies of the paperwork for everyone. I always tried to do a review for each Teamer every year. It is a lot of work but I think Teamers appreciate the effort!

 “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

 - Albert Einstein

Keep Performance and Salary Separate!! - Never mix performance and dollars together in the same meeting. Performance will dictate dollars and you must agree upon performance first. Set up a monthly schedule to do performance reviews at least two months before each Teamer’s salary review time.

 “Before you can learn a new way of doing things, you have to unlearn the old way. So beginnings depend on endings.”

 - Rick Maurer

Training - Dollars spent on training for your Teamers is a wise investment and is viewed as a “reward” by most, especially when they “found” the training opportunity themselves. I always tried to target about 10 percent of the salary budget for each Teamer’s training. Make sure it is a two way process. Have them bring possible training to you and you should look for training for them. I always had training opportunities as one of the agenda items during One-on-One sessions.

 “Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”

 - Jim Roth

Manage by Walking Around - I was never a Middle that liked to stay in my office/cube. There was too much going on “out there” and I often would “sign-off” from my desk, telephone, email and computer and seek the first person I could find that would talk with me. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve found a “problem” or a “solution” while cruising around among my Teamers.

 “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

 - Maya Angelou

Thank Them!!! - While you are out there cruising and problem solving always take the time to thank your Teamers for something well done. If you thank them you encourage them to do it again and you also encourage other Teamers too – it can become contagious!

 “The possibility for rich relationships exists all around you – you simply have to open your eyes, open your mouth and most importantly, open your heart.”

 - Cheryl Richardson

Coaching - Coaching can be a key ingredient in helping your Teamers work in the “flow” on projects that they love. Coaching should be a daily even hourly event. If you see a problem take time now to work with your Teamer.

 “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Flex Time and Flex Benefits - Not every Teamer wants the same things. Each person has different work related needs and wants. Be flexible in work hours. I offered a 4-day work week and a varied start time schedule and they both worked great! Be flexible with your benefit program if you can. Some Teamers may want dental insurance and some may not. It’s that special touch that Teamers love.

 “Never assume that what motivates you is what motivates others. It is also important to recognize that sources of happiness may vary widely between people.”

 - Confucius

Reward Them - I’ve seen reward systems work time and again from the most simple to the most elaborate. I always tried to have a reward ceremony with all of my Teamers each month. People appreciate being thanked in public. I had a simple “employee of the month” reward program that awarded two tickets to the movies to the selected Teamer. The key is to involve all of your Teamers in the nominating process.

 “Giving credit where credit is due is a very rewarding habit to form. Its rewards are inestimable.”

 - Loretta Young