Sir Christopher Wren was one of the finest architects and most celebrated geniuses in British History, famed for the design of Londons St Pauls Cathedral.I once heard a story that, during the building of St Pauls, Sir Christopher took a walk around the site and stopped to ask a workman what he was doing: “Im cutting a piece of stone, sir,” came the reply. Walking on, Wren asked another man the same question: “Im earning five shillings a day,” the workman mumbled. Finally, Wren stopped to as the same question of a third man: “Im helping Christopher Wren build a masterpiece,” he said. Are your people engaged in building a masterpiece every day at work, or are they putting in just enough hours to earn a pay check In workplaces around the world, we have found employees everywhere have an innate desire to make a difference. They want to be seen as contributing value. People every day are capable of extraordinary things. All one has to do is look at the creativity, passion and hard work that gets poured into volunteering or other hobbies outside of work. But, how do we as leaders tap into this power inside all our people to produce great work at work – and make a difference The difference between an employee just answering a phone call (because it’s their job) or wowing an existing client by the way they handled and resolved their issue. We wanted to understand motivates employees to do great work and make a difference, so we asked the following open ended question in a global survey: “What is the most important thing that your manager or company currently does (or could do) that would cause you to produce Great Work The single strongest factor to cause employees to do great work (three times more powerful than any other factor) is to recognise the great work of employees every day. Here are some of the verbatim answers from the survey:
- I really appreciate sincere appreciation and recognition. I am paid to do a job I agreed to the job for my salary. Salary doesnt drive my motivation. I appreciate it and like it, but it doesnt make me perform any better.
- “When someone recognises you for something you did or gives you appreciation, I feel that it hits the heart more than anything. Sure you can get a financial gain or perk, but if someone actually comes to you and recognises you for what you do, that stands out more than anything. It is more personal.
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