Recognition and rewards can encourage performance improvement from these non-superstars. If you wait for a significant improvement in their performance, you may never get a chance to recognize them, yet without reinforcement of some small improvement they are unlikely to sustain the behavior change long enough to make a major improvement in their work behavior.
For these individuals, you might consider a small gift—even a thank-you note for the added effort will work. It might be that the employee worked through lunch one day (however reluctantly), corrected a mistake without being told, or took care of a customer when it wasn’t his or her job.
An employee who receives reinforcement for one change may try another, then another, then still another, until all of them add up to the performance you are looking for.
Tell Me More
Here are some behaviors from these employees worthy of a thankyou:
- Learning new skills
- Helping a coworker
- Giving a customer added attention
- Acting as buddy to a new hire
- Tackling a problem in a fresh, and more efficient, manner
- Sharing information
- Offering to take notes during a meeting
- Perfect attendance
- Adapting willingly to change
- Cross-training another employee