Monetary rewards for employees may backfire

We remind you often in FiercePracticeManagement to praise your employees and even occasionally show your thanks with small gift cards or other monetary rewards. But as a recent post from Forbes points out, linking recognition and money can backfire. As recruiting expert Meghan M. Biro, founder of TalentCulture Consulting Group, explained, such rewards "tell the employee that he or she is worth 'n' dollars to the organization for some level of effort."

Rather than relying on short-term rewards to motivate employees or doling out constant praise for average work, Biro recommended that organizations become more focused on providing sincere, specific feedback in the moment they catch employees doing exemplary work. Furthermore, so that these communications maintain their integrity, make sure your level of praise matches the level of effort the employee has showed. In other words, there's no need to gush to staff about meeting minimum expectations, such as arriving to work on time.

A recent post from Harvard Business Review also discussed the idea of providing meaningful communication to employees. Drawing from Aristotle's three elements of communication--ethos, pathos, and logos--consultant Scott Edinger reminded managers that they need to be credible, make and emotional connection with employees and explain the logic behind their conclusions.

As Biro pointed out, managers can fulfill these criteria by giving recognition in context of larger business goals. For example, an employee who finds a solution to catch revenue leaks tied to one of your processes needs to know that your appreciate his or her dedication to the practice's success.

To learn more:
- read the post from Forbes
- see the post from Harvard Business Review

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