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Archive for the ‘Performance & Culture’ Category

Hippo resting 24 May 2012

1501 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson PhD

Bob Nelson has done it again.  An updated version of the original 1001 book has just been issued. It’s thicker as you would expect with 500 more ideas. More significantly, it addresses the modern working environment where outsourcing, part time and contract working is now a widely adopted practice by many companies. Keeping people motivated nowadays is tougher. Continue reading

An appreciation of “The Five Languages of Appreciation” 30 December 2011

An appreciation of “The Five Languages of Appreciation” by Drs Gary Chapman and Paul White.

Employee engagement is a much talked about subject with many claims to deliver large bottom line gains. But, what constitutes employee engagement and how do you, in practice, improve it? The web shows it is an active topic, but it appears to be somewhat fragmented. But Drs Chapman and White, in their book, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation” attempt to pull the subject together in a concise way that seems to make a lot of sense.

They recognise the importance of engagement, the criticality of line management and team dynamics. They don’t spend much time defining engagement, but do say what disengagement leads to – lack of connectedness, discouragement, complaints about work and colleagues, and high staff turnover. This all sounds very familiar.  They distinguish between reward and appreciation. The first is about remuneration, including bonuses; in short, money. But they go further. Let’s not deny it – money matters. But, they show that it is not all about money. People want to be valued for their efforts. Appreciation matters. What’s good about their book is that they go into practical aspects, so often missing from other topics on engagement. They break down ”appreciation” into five types. Why five? Well, mere “thanks for that” is not enough. People not only need a specific reason for the thanks, but also an additional reinforcer.

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Innovate or Die 16 December 2011

Innovate or Die

We are being told that the economy is in a desperate situation and that growth is the key to resolving the problem. We have been here before and have somehow muddled through. But is that going to be good enough this time? The global economy has become more complex and the number of competitors more numerous. So what do we do….we must innovate.

Innovation is hard work and requires a myriad of supporting elements to be in place to make it work. It requires above all the preparedness to take risk. This demands leadership, not just in a distant authoritarian way but hands on. Committees do not innovate.

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