Self esteem is a sense of worth, not only in inner confidence and self-respect, but also outwardly in the actions one takes towards contributing to the Bottom Line.
Employee recognition is ranked the number one motivating factor when it comes to employee motivation in the workplace. If you want to maintain motivated employees, and encourage others to do better, recognizing them will help build their self esteem, while maintaining a loyal and motivated employee.
You may find it hard to believe, but recognition is the most powerful employee motivator of all because it builds one’s self-esteem. Research has shown that there is a stronger need in society today for recognition (building of one’s self-esteem) than there is for sex and money. Now, that says something about building self esteem and employee motivation.
Why is building self-esteem through recognition so important?
When someone gives you a compliment or recognizes you for doing something, how do you feel? Imagine, for a moment, being complimented by all your family, friends, staff and customers all day, every day. What would it do to your self-esteem, your self confidence and your self respect, and ultimately your self-worth – the bottom line?
Building self-esteem through recognition is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement of actions gets those actions repeated. Recognition and praise reinforces our beliefs about ourselves and helps make us think we are better than we thought we were. That is how to build employee self-esteem.
Employee motivation is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcements is what builds our self-esteem. Our self-esteem is the way we see and feel about ourselves either internally, through our own beliefs, or externally through what we accept as the beliefs of others.
If we feel good about ourselves and we believe others feel good about us, we perform better than we would when we see the opposite side of the coin. Employee self esteem starts from external recognition and when accepted as being sincere it builds self esteem from within, which then translates into external actions leading to bottom line results.
People perform in a manner that is consistent with how they see themselves conceptually. So, the key is to help people build their self-esteem. That is the foundation of employee retention motivation and loyalty.
Unlike money which is an external motivator and never lasting, ones self- esteem is internal, and internal motivation is everlasting. In order to build a healthy self-esteem one needs recognition and praise, both from one’s self and from others.
You can help build someone’s self-esteem and self-motivation through recognition, but also through advancement and responsibility where that person can obtain a sense of achievement and personal growth.
The problem is that in today’s society we are deprived of positive feedback. Compliments, recognition and praise are not part of our day-to-day culture. For some reason, many people find it difficult to give compliments, recognition and praise. This does nothing for one’s self esteem.
My assumption is that it is hard to give something you don’t have to give. How can you give someone else a compliment if you can’t compliment yourself first? This goes back to our own self esteem. We must first feel good about ourselves, and tell ourselves that, before we can feel good about somebody else, and tell them that. It’s a vicious circle, but it all starts within each of us. How do you feel about your own self worth – your self-esteem?
Another problem is, we live in a society that has influenced us more to look for the things people do wrong, instead of the things they do right. How do you think it impacts someone’s self esteem if they are always recognized for the things they do wrong? Can you see them looking for the good in others and praising them accordingly? More likely they will find something to criticize in others.
We, as society, are to blame for this sort of behavior. It is up to each of us to change our self esteem from the inside – out.
These same influences have had an impact in our self-talk too. We tend to criticize ourselves for the things we do wrong. But how often do we praise ourselves for the things we do right?
Let’s tap ourselves on the back for the good that we do. The more we do it to ourselves, the more our self esteem grows and the more our self esteem grows, the more confident we feel, which in turn helps us to give more confidence and praise to others. Building our own self esteem allows us to then give growth to the self esteem of others.
You are the leader and you must set the example by demonstrating the appropriate behavior. The appropriate behavior that we are talking about here is recognition and praise to yourself first and then to your employees. The bottom line is, for you as a leader, to build employee self esteem