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More no-cost ways to recognize employees. (Rewarding Employees).

Previously, we discussed the fact that there are a number of cost-free ways for financial institutions to recognize their employees. We reviewed the power of giving employees interesting work to do. In this column, we'll look at four other techniques: giving information and feedback, creating involvement, granting independence and increasing employee visibility.

Giving information, communicating and giving feedback

Information is power, and your employees want to be empowered with the information they need to do their jobs better and more effectively. This is why new employees at Phelps County Bank in Rolla, Mo., are given a chart titled, "How We Make Each Dollar and How It Is Spent." The company president walks the new employees through the chart as part of their orientation--pointing out important figures along the way. Employees are more involved when they know their part in how the bank makes money and what they can do to help.

Involvement and ownership in decisions

Involving employees--especially in decisions that affect them--is both respectful and practical. People who are closest to the problem or customer typically have the best insight as to how a situation can be improved. They know what works and what doesn't, but often are never asked for their ideas. Encourage new ideas and initiative. As you involve others, you increase their commitment.

When John Rogener, program director for Citicorp/Citibank's transaction services training department, was directed by management to train 1,700 employees in object-oriented technology, he sensed that the training would not be effective: The employees would not learn the things that they needed to get their jobs done. Rogener came up with what he considered a better way and presented it up the organizational chain of command. Rogener convinced management to change the program's mission and to support his alternative plan for varied and smaller-scale training and development support services for his dents. Says Rogener "What's the bottom line? You have to believe in yourself. You must be responsible for your own decisions rather than letting the institute dictate to you."

Granting independence, autonomy and flexibility

Most employees value being given room to do their job as they see best. When you provide these factors to employees--and also provide desired performance standards--you increase the likelihood that they will perform as desired while bringing additional initiative, ideas and energy to the job.

The management team of Phelps County Bank has long believed in giving its employees the authority to make decisions. The bank formed the Problem Busters committee--chartered to help untangle bottlenecks and deal with employee grievances--to encourage employees to solve their own problems. Having been given the room to do their jobs, two employees of the bank developed a proposal for creating a seniors banking program. The proposal--which included special checking and savings accounts, community "ambassadors" and more--was greeted with accolades by the company's management and was soon implemented.

Increasing visibility, opportunity and responsibility

The chances to share the successes of employees with others are almost limitless--and highly motivating. In addition, giving employees new opportunities to perform, learn and grow as a form of recognition and thanks can also have a tremendously positive impact. Advanta Corp., an Atlanta financial services company, recognized skills (and helped develop new skills) by asking top performers to assist in training new hires and temporary employees.

I'm convinced that the most important things managers can do to develop and maintain motivated employees have no cost. These things can be effortlessly integrated into the daily work-related interactions between managers and employees.

Bob Nelson, Ph.D., is president of Nelson Motivation Inc., San Diego, Calif., and outhor of numerous books on motivating and energizing employees. You can telephone him at (80D) 575-5521 or e-mail him at You can visit his website at
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Comment:More no-cost ways to recognize employees. (Rewarding Employees).
Author:Nelson, Bob
Publication:ABA Bank Marketing
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Previous Article:Branding time. (Marketing News).
Next Article:The 'customer disconnect' opportunity. (Marketing Solutions).

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