Are you in your element today? How about your employees? What does that even mean? Professional athletes have a bit of experience being “in their element,” but they didn’t get there overnight. They were coached. They were given pointers, corrections, and encouragement. Everyone is capable of being in their element, which we’ll define here as being content with where you are, feeling like you are good at what you are doing, and successfully executing the task at hand. Sports figures call this desired state “getting in the zone,” or as some writers like to call it, “getting in the flow.” According to Sir Ken Robinson; author of Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, finding your “element” is a matter of systematically identifying your talents and passions, then seeking or creating opportunities where these two factors overlap.
As you set out to improve your business team, you’ll notice that the people who are continually surpassing their goals and improving overall business are doing so by “getting in the zone” and finding a way to get in their element at work. However, this behavior won’t last forever if you don’t find successful ways of rewarding them. Having an effective rewards program in place can solve many of your HR issues and increase the overall performance and morale of your entire company.
We often don’t hesitate to let people know when they’ve done something wrong, but we often glance over it when they are doing really well. It’s not always a breeze presenting that sales pitch, greeting customers, or managing a production team, which is why it shouldn’t go unrecognized when someone does an amazing job. Olympic coaches don’t wait until a quarterly meeting to tell their athletes that they landed a jump perfectly, they tell them then and there. You shouldn’t wait to tell your star workers either.
You cut your employees a paycheck and probably offer them some form of benefits package, but are you engaging in the strategic areas of recognition and appreciation? As mentioned in an Entrepreneur.com article, “You can't diminish the importance of recognition and appreciation as integral components of a winning strategic reward system. These two elements rarely receive the attention they deserve from business owners, which is amazing because they're the low-cost/high-return ingredients. Employees like to know whether they're doing good, bad or average, so it's important that you tell them.”
Start by asking yourself: what behaviors are indispensable to my company? Improving customer relationships, critical processes, managerial skills, and increasing sales are typically at the top of the list for most businesses. Once you identify the ones most critical, you can start implementing your own rewards system and begin recognizing exemplary team members. “Congratulations, you’re in your element today,” are great words to hear and when you hand them a gift of appreciation, they’ll be all the more driven for success - and more likely to get in their element more often.
The Element Group wants to know, how do YOU recognize exceptional work? Does your organization have a system for rewarding outstanding employees? Do you know of one that does? Leave your answers in the comments below, and remember – every bit matters!
Article written by Naomi Farr for The Element Group.
Edited by Anna Taylor.