What is the proper way to motivate your employees? Should you be an imposing boss carrying a big stick, letting your colleagues know all of their faults while keeping mum when they do their job right (because after all, that's what they're being paid to do)? Or should you take a 'gently, gently' approach, reinforcing good will every step of the way? This is an important issue for franchisees who need to keep staff productive.
Entrepreneur has explored this fascinating topic in a recent article. They quote a 2010 Harvard study of Best Buy that says that "a 0.1 percent increase in employee engagement drove $100,000 in operating income to the bottom line of each store per year". That's a lot of profit for a small amount of engagement, you have to admit.
The sentiment that positivity makes a huge difference for employees was then echoed by Chester Elton, who wrote a book called The Carrot Principle, which is all about the power of positivity.
"The number one driver of opportunity and well-being is recognition and appreciation. The Harvard study showed that you don't just want employees satisfied, you want them engaged, because an engaged employee gives you their discretionary efforts," he told the magazine.
This is something every business owner needs to keep in mind the next time one of their employees does even the most routine thing well.