Show Adrian Gostick a leader who sets clear goals, communicates openly, respects people, treats them fairly, holds people accountable, and creates trusting relationships, and we’ll show you a leader who’s almost got it right. Show Gostick an organization where people are coming to work on time, doing their jobs, and feel satisfied, and we’ll show you an organization that is close to achieving its full potential. But why is it “almost”? Why is it “close”? Why is Gostick not fully satisfied? He says we need an accelerator. Something to bridge the gap between where your team is now and where it can be.
And in the workplace, Gostick says, “there is no accelerator with more impact than purpose-based recognition”. A leader expressing appreciation to a person in a meaningful and memorable way is the missing accelerator that can do so much and yet is used so sparingly. Simply put, when employees know that their strengths and potential will be praised and recognized, they are significantly more likely to produce value.
We are not talking money here, it’s not as powerful a reward as many people think.
In fact one-third of the people you give a cash award to will use that money to pay bills. Another one in five won’t have any clue in a few months where they spent the money or even how much they received.
But what about something useful and tangible that was given to you as a reward? Chances are that even years later, you still own it and can picture the award in your mind.
Giving recognition has a knock-on effect beyond the recipient. It gives coworkers a vision of the possible and the desire to garner the rewards. But recognition isn’t the only answer. Before there can be recognition, the basics need to be in place: aptitude in Goal Setting, Communication, Trust and Accountability.
When a manager is somewhat competent with the basics and then adds the accelerator to each, management effectiveness soars in each. This is the Carrot Principle. It is a simple concept, but one that works every time