As a leader or manager (There is a difference) you have the responsibility to recognize and reward the people who are under you. I emphasize the word “people” because they have emotions, expectations, and are reactive beings who will communicate a response, whether verbally or non-verbally, to the recognition and reward which they receive from their superior. Therefore, when it comes to giving raises, rewards, or recognition, the leader/manager must be conscience of three possible reactions from their people.
The first possible reaction is satisfaction with the reward and recognition. When expecting recognition, a reward, or a raise, the person will have an expected level of satisfaction. They will have reasonable expectations which will include a certain amount of new responsibility, a specific percentage in the raise of their paycheck, or a level of credit bestowed to them. These expectations are established by cultural norms (cost of living raise) and leadership/managerial communication. Meeting an expectation is a safe place to target and land.
The second possible reaction is that the person will be insulted because their expectations were not met. This can come by failing to fulfill a promise that was made, giving a sub-par raise (less than cost of living), or not giving credit where credit is due. This will breed an infection of discontentment among your office culture and the desire to go above and beyond will be lost. Recovering from insult is difficult and will often require apologies and reconciliation.
The third possible reaction is that the person will be honored because what has been given to them has gone beyond their expectations. This can be accomplished by giving unexpected trust over a task, giving above the expected pay increase, or giving a specific person greater credit for accomplishing a project. This can create a culture of inspired motivation because people know that their expectations of recognition and reward will be met and will sometimes go beyond expectations to a level of honor.
Principles to Apply
- 1. Communicate reward expectations. Let your people know what to expect (Clearly Established Reward Programs). Speculation and assumption of rewards and recognition are dangerous fires that must avoided.
- 2. Be intentional with avoiding insult to your people. If you communicate reward expectations well this will be a non-issue. If in doubt re-communicate expectations of reward and recognition
- 3. You cannot honor everyone but you should always seek to honor someone (Never Yourself).