It seems that everywhere we go we are bombarded with bad
news about the monstrous losses on Wall Street, never-ending layoffs, horrific
crimes and even poor health conditions that "if we had just known about
sooner...." It's no wonder we all seek a little positive
reinforcement in our everyday lives.
Although attention and praise may be good in our personal
lives, I think such encouragement is quite important in the
workplace—something many coworkers and managers simply forget. However,
many studies have cited that people leave their jobs because of their direct
supervisor more than any other reason. That being said, what is it that makes
people want to stay with their employers?
A 1999 Gallup Poll survey reported that great managers
provide 12 core elements that make a great workplace including recognizing and
praising significant contributions, valuing employee opinions and taking an
interest in the employee's professional development.
These things are expressed with rewards and recognition.
Rewards in the workplace are a lot easier to offer than you may think. Although
monetary and other "perks" are eagerly accepted, it is the
day-to-day respect and appreciation that many employees--particularly
those that already have attained a particular level of material
comfort--desire. Is there really an employee out there that wouldn't
like to hear "Way to go on that project" or "I couldn't
have done it without you?" Other rewards might include allowing staff to
go early one afternoon, birthday/anniversary celebrations or recognition during
a staff meeting.
In the spirit of positive reinforcement, I thought some
freebees would be nice for our readers. Here are two opportunities for you to
get some free stuff.
First, on our Scrapbook page (42), WQP offers a monthly
crossword puzzle based on various water industry terms. See how many you can
guess, and fax the answers to me to win a prize. Our prize this month: All
About Water, a water dictionary and reference guide.
Next, on page 8, Roger Nathanson of Ozone Pure Water
presents "The O-Zone," a monthly column that began in October
dedicated solely to ozone technology, applications and details such as sizing
and dosages. Be sure to read this column each month, because the September 2003
issue will contain a quiz based on the information in this column, and a prize
will be awarded.
And to end on a positive note, allow me to suggest that you
show your appreciation to your staff. Check out "Eight Ways to Build
Employee Committment" on page 34, and see if you are doing everything you
can to preserve your team. During this age of high turnover, why not make a
little extra effort to let your employees know that they make a difference?
Wendi Hope King