I was always a big fan of non-financial rewards. Hearing “good job”, “well done” or “impressive” is, for me, worth more than those few bucks I could have earned instead. I hope my boss won’t remember that when sharing bonus money anyway. Coming back to my point, I believe that people need to work in supportive atmosphere to feel comfortable. They should know their boss sees and appreciates their effort. That way most of them will try hard to earn another “thank you” message. Everyone likes to hear “thank you.” Everyone likes to be appreciated.
Personally, I try hard to give my non-financial rewards every time someone earned some of these. When for someone it means as much as for me, good, it makes us both happy. A win-win scenario. On the other hand, when someone just doesn’t care (a rare example) no one really loses. He doesn’t care, which is his right, but I just invest a couple of moments I’m actually obligated to invest. Yes, that’s how I feel – I’m obligated to invest my time for my team. That’s what I’m getting paid for.
I used to look at my “good job” messages just as they look like – just thanking for effort. Oh yes, there’s more – every time I’m sending the “thank you” message I really mean it. At least when I’m not sarcastic, but that’s completely different case. However, it looks like I was putting there more than I thought. When I read David Maister’s list of non-financial currencies I realized I was using many of them. It’s just so natural, when it’s not a management trick, but the way you feel you should act.
The first step for a manager is will, or even urge, to show appreciation for a team member. Without that the whole thing will become a caricature of management. Just like one of my ex-bosses telling me “Thank you” just a second before “You must leave now, I have important things to do now.”