A Rewarding Change: How You Can Use Rewards To Change Your Company Culture
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A Rewarding Change: How You Can Use Rewards To Change Your Company Culture

What gets rewarded gets done, so recognize and reward a lot! This is especially so if you want to learn how to change company culture.

First, reward all the traditional categories: sales achieved, goals accomplished, customer compliments received. Then add some spice to really promote efforts on how to change company culture.

Celebrate new accounts, repeat orders, projects completed under budget, money-saving ideas, increased efficiency, and of course, improvements in customer service. To learn how to change company culture, you need to reward the actions you want to become ingrained.

Acknowledge achievements of individuals: most productive person, most consistent performance, most outrageous extra effort. This can also help in efforts to learn how to change company culture. Applaud improvements made by groups and teams: shortest response time, fastest cycle-time, best collaboration.

Keep your staff motivated with unusual campaigns that arouse interest and lead to productive action. This can help you learn how to change company culture effectively. Highlight the most unusual service recovery or most unique approach to a common problem. Give a "Most Unexpected Situation" award each month, and put special attention on the learning that followed.

The end of the month is a natural time to give rewards for targets and goals achieved. The end of the quarter aligns with financial accomplishments. The end of the year is an expected time for bonuses, increments, and promotions. But the beginning of each week can also be a good time to set recognition campaigns in motion. And nothing beats the day before the weekend for spontaneous cash awards and off-the-wall commendations. These actions will help you learn how to change company culture by rewarding the characteristics that matter to you.

In The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson encourage readers to "catch your people doing something right." That means recognizing good actions whenever and wherever you see them. This is especially important if you are learning how to change company culture. Give merit to your deserving "Employee of the Moment" - why wait for the end of the month or year? Instant recognition can help you in efforts to learn how to change company culture.

Make your recognition widely known. Give praise in public at staff meetings, management sessions, and executive forums. Award prizes at the company picnic or family day. Bestow special honors at the annual kick-off or the end-of-year dinner and dance. Use every opportunity to commend strong performance and recognize spectacular efforts, especially if you are trying to learn how to change company culture.

Promote awards in the company newsletter. Post them on your website. Notify the local newspaper. Call the radio station for an interview with the winners. Send a photo and caption to your industry publication. Create a "Wall of Fame" in your plant, office, or building. Take down some of the impersonal decorations and put up visual reminders of your most successful projects and praise-deserving teams.

Make your awards meaningful by giving something the winners will appreciate and remember. If your recipient is outgoing, throw a party, make a fuss, go for all the publicity you can muster. If the winner is shy, provide your praise in a personal way: a special meeting, a thoughtful letter, a handwritten note on their desk.

People have many choices of where to work and how hard to work. An encouraging culture motivates your people to give their best. A sterile or discouraging culture diminishes their enthusiasm daily. Where would you rather focus your efforts? Learn how to change company culture to get the best from your people.

One company says, "If you do a good job, that is your job. Don't expect much recognition." (That's a culture needing some change!) Another company says, "If you do a good job, you will be rewarded, appreciated, and praised. Get going!" (Now that's a great place to work.)

There are many ways to recognize and reward your staff for achieving high targets of performance. The more praise you give, the more effort and results you will receive. You can learn how to change company culture by rewarding the actions you want to see more of.

Work with your team to make a list of all your current targets, goals, and objectives. Make the list long with internal and external results desired. Use this list to define how to change company culture.

Then ask for a list of all the ways your team would enjoy being appreciated, rewarded, and admired. Make the list long with obvious ideas and some outside-the-box suggestions.

Now match the lists in ways that inspire and stimulate everyone's interest. Choose a place to start with a goal to achieve and an interesting reward at the finish. Give it a try. Then try another. And another. You can learn how to change company culture for the better.

Ron Kaufman is the world's leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling UP! Your Service books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.

Published: March 14th, 2012

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