Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Timely Praise, Recognition Good Labor Relations Tools

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Timely Praise, Recognition Good Labor Relations Tools

Article excerpt

In any business organization, it isn't easy for the people on the bottom. They feel the people at the top are looking down on them and that damages their self esteem. They know they're not getting paid as much as the people at the top and that makes them doubt their self-worth. They also believe the people on the top are being overpaid for easier work than the peons perform and that makes themdissatisfied with what they're doing.

When the dissatisfaction becomes great enough, it's time for what the newspapers call "labor unrest."

Wise managers know this and try to anticipate it with assurances that the value of those who labor in the vineyard is appreciated, that their importance is recognized, and that satisfaction can be found even in the lowliest of occupations. The trouble is that many of these assurances are listened to in silence, with one uplifted eyebrow, and are not believed. The people on the bottom are convinced they are being fed opiates to try to keep them contented.

It's true that no matter how skilled the generals may be, wars are won or lost by the troops in the trenches. But one problem is that our society has often replaced other motivators, such as pride in accomplishment, with money incentives. The result is that many people come to believe that money incentives are the only important measurement of personal worth or value.

The solution to that problem is within the power of executives to deal with. Employee mistakes must be noted, so that ways can be found to avoid their future repetition; but managers need also to take time to give positive reinforcement to workers who are just doing their job up to expectation.

Manager would be believed more fully and more often if, in addition to pep talks, they gave timely praise and visible recognition for the proverbial good job well done.

QUESTION: Nobody has to tell me that I don't have much education, but I'm getting a little tired of the way I'm being pushed around. I'm a maintenance man and a damn good one, but I get ordered around like I'm some kind of slave, and when I do a good job nobody even says thank you. I don't know what kind of advice I want from you, but I saw your column in the men's room trash bin and I just wanted to let you know how I felt. …

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