A client recently asked for some advice on buying gifts for treating staff and they don’t have a large budget but wanted to reward good performance. So this led me to reflect on how I have managed the tricky issues when I wanted to provide a Christmas gift for staff, praise staff for a job well done or generally raise the spirits of the team when times were tough.
Are you a new manager?
As a new manager or even an experienced manager you may ask, ‘What should I consider when buying gifts for staff’?
Generosity as a manager can make a huge difference to productivity and the happiness of your team. It does not mean spending lots of money or buying an extravagant gift. It should be throughout the working year and throughout the day to day business life.
My six tips for being a generous and positive manager:
- Praise and positive feedback – this is outside of performance management. When done well can support performance management improvements. It can be hard to praise your team if there is no culture of praise in an organisation. So if you believe your team could have done the job better, choose the parts that they did well and give them some praise. See how they respond and foster a culture of analysing what went well and what could develop to be better ‘next time’. Most people want to go home at the end of the working day feeling they have done a good days work. So this will support the drive for motivation and productivity improvements.
- Information – as managers we should be supplied with the information we need through our business structure. Many managers moan about silo operations and poor communication. Some managers like the power that information gives them, and of course not all of our team need to know all the information. So a willingness to share information and ideas with your team is positive. Don’t fear that someone in your team may use the information to come up with an idea before you, they are your team and they want to make you proud. Therefore, fostering a sharing culture will reflect positively on both you and them.
- Projects and tasks – as managers it may be tempting to give the rubbish jobs to less senior team members. However, your team succeeding and doing brilliantly with a good project or task reflects positively on them, the team and you as the manager.
- Encouragement and positivity – as managers it is difficult to keep a smile on your face and be positive. Particularly if you have a specific preference how tasks are tackled and the team don’t match up to your expectations. Yes of course bad work needs to be addressed, including performance management and capability if needed. However, if it is not laziness or sloppy work, guide your team, encourage them. Revert to mentor or coaching them to support improvement.
- Treats – this is not for all managers and some are non-believers. If you are minded to do so, it does not need to be extravagant. So maybe monthly at the team meeting, or just after pay day – you could buy a packet of biscuits, a tub of sweets or some fresh fruit. Alternatively if you are a keen baker or cook, bake a small cake or cookies.
- Gifts – some organisations have rules and procedures that discourage this, check your organisation policy. My personal rule is to treat your team all the same, don’t have favourites, don’t spend more on one team member versus another. That can lead to resentment and hostility.
Reflect and be comfortable with your own management style
Being a manager requires a certain amount of generosity to keep smiling when times are tough. Reflect on what works for you, don’t copy other managers because you feel you have to do so. Be comfortable with your management style, consider some of these tips and be generous to your team and productivity, ultimately profitability will improve.
If you would like support with your team please contact us www.tabarkerassociates.co.uk
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