Meet Tucker. Tucker is an English Cream Golden Retriever and the latest addition to our household. Tuck is the culmination of a year-long campaign perpetrated by my 13 year-old-son, Robert, who was on a mission to get a big dog. Â In the past when he asked, our response was always, âNo, we already have a dog.â We have a miniature dachshund named Daphne who if could speak would say âlet me inâŚ I have to pee.â Robert was relentless in his pursuit, and we finally gave in last Christmas when he said âMom, Dad, if I am allowed to have my big dog, could I at least have him by the time Iâm 13? That way, Iâll have 5 years with him before I leave for collegeâ (cue the violins). He also showed me a Mark Twain quote that said, âEvery boy needs two things: a dog and a mother who will let him have one.â I was proud of his persistence and thrilled that I was able to get meâŚI mean Robert, his big dog. After a search for the perfect dog, we settled on an English Cream Golden Retriever and found a breeder in our town in North Carolina. English Cream Goldens are basically Golden Retrievers with lighter colored hair, a blockier head, and double the price tag. Â After Tucker was born, we had a couple of months to prepare for his arrival. I read up on proper training techniques and had Robert prepare a one week, one month, and three-month plan for caring for and training Tucker. I grew up around the ârub his nose in it, rolled up newspaper mentalityâ, but everything I read emphasized positive reinforcement and reward vs. punishment. When Tucker arrived, it was like having a new baby in the house. I spent most nights on the couch making sure he went out to pee every two hours, and when he went in the house, I didnât scold him, but rather took him outside to try again. When he peed outside, I gave him a treat and did a happy dance that mortified my children and made my wife question her vows. I discovered quickly that liver treats and a happy dance are a powerful motivator to influence Tuckerâs behavior, so I now carry a pocketful of treats and am ready to reward if the situation calls for it.
If praise vs. punishment can influence positive action in Tucker, then how about in people? I speak to credit unions across the country, and although most people I meet are thrilled with where they work, the biggest struggle that managers seem to have is talent management. How do you build and maintain an engaged workforce? Iâm a firm believer that if you want to drive business through your doors, there has to be a smile waiting on the other side, and the best way to ensure that is by building a culture of reward and praise.
Genuine praise has tremendous value for employees: a national survey of over 2,000 people shows that more than two-thirds of the workers said that praise and recognition from their boss was more motivating than money. This Gallup Poll indicated that 80 percent of workers reported that praise and recognition motivated them to do a better job.
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO REWARD AND PRAISE YOUR TEAM:
Managers who look for unique and clever ways to praise and reward employees with build and maintain a culture of enthusiasm and appreciation. Just donât give them a liver treat.