Auto Service World
Feature   December 23, 2015   by Steve Pawlett

Employee Recognition


Each year, it seems to get tougher and tougher for our selection committee to choose a Counterperson Of The Year. The number of exemplary candidates just seems to grow and grow. Don’t get me wrong – this is a good problem to have, and I think that simple fact speaks volumes about the high calibre of frontline staff who are employed in this industry.

I speak to countermen and -women across the country on a regular basis, and I am always impressed by their level of product knowledge and their customer service skills. There are so many dedicated counterpeople in this industry who love what they do, and do it well. I wish we could recognize more of you.

That being said, employee recognition should be an integral part of every jobber store’s operation. Appreciation is a fundamental human need.

Employee recognition isn’t rocket science; it’s imperative. Employees respond to recognition of their good work, because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain – even improve – their good work.

Praise and recognition are essential to an outstanding workplace. People want to be respected and valued for their contribution. Everyone feels the need to be recognized as an individual or member of a group, and to feel a sense of achievement for work well done (or even for a valiant effort). Everyone needs a pat on the back to make them feel good.

Despite the unquestioned benefits arising from employee recognition, one of the mysteries of the workplace is that recognition invariably is done badly, if done at all. Employee recognition remains an undervalued management technique.

A recent survey conducted by Sirota Consulting revealed that only 51% of workers were satisfied with the recognition they received after a job well done. This figure is as conclusive as you can get: it is based on interviews with 2.5 million employees in 237 private, public, and not-for-profit organizations in 89 countries around the world, over a 10-year period.

If you don’t already do so, go ahead and start today and spontaneously praise people. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by your employees’ response. To many employees, receiving sincere thanks is more important than receiving something tangible. Employees enjoy recognition through personal, written, electronic, and public praise from those they respect at work, especially when it’s given in a timely, specific, and sincere way.

This day-to-day recognition is the most important type of recognition. Daily recognition brings the benefit of immediate and powerful reinforcement of desired behaviour, and sets an example to other employees that aligns with organizational objectives. It gives individuals and teams at all levels the opportunity to recognize good work by their peers, as well as being recognized on the spot for their own good work.

Here’s a formula for recognizing an individual for his or her efforts:

  • Thank the person by name.
  • Specifically state what they did that is being
    recognized. It is vital to be specific, because it
    identifies and reinforces the desired behaviour.
  • Explain how the behaviour made you feel
    (assuming you felt some pride or respect for
    their accomplishment!).
  • Point out the value added to the team or
    organization by the behaviour.
  • Thank the person again by name for their

Jobber News recognizes the best of the best once a year. But you can, and should, give positive feedback to those responsible for your success every day.

upfront  |  with steve pawlett, editor  »


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