Employee recognition – A real problem

More motivation and happiness at the workplace through the power of peer-to-peer recognition is now available to any browser, browser extension, iOS and Android app.

THE PROBLEM

64% of employees that quit their jobs, say they don’t feel recognized for their job.

INSIGHT

Studies say that public and immediate employee recognition is 10% more effective in terms of motivation, than the usual money appraisal.
Teams are increasingly getting more disperse and geographically fragmented, which makes impossible a public and immediate recognition.
An effective employee recognition strategy means that all track record of the daily victories has to be saved.

HOW?

In the main feed all taps are public and visible. Who gave, who received and why. Additionally to that are used gamification elements that drives team members to evolve, get better and check their progress on the personal profile area.
The administrator creates the team and chooses which badges are available for peer-to-peer recognition.
All team members can give a tap on the back to a coworker, all in 3 easy steps.
Activity dashboard, rankings and insights to help the administrator to better know the team.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Tap My Back is an Employee Recognition app, which is easy to use and makes peer-to-peer recognition fun.
The app allows the team leader to customize the type of actions he/she wants to promote on the team, helping him/her with valuable insights about the team.
Tap My Back is a web and mobile app that allows all employees to share recognition between each others.
Tap My Back complements the traditional annual evaluation process in the organizations, with the plus of being in real-time.

HOW IT WORKS?

With Tap my back recognition flows everywards. Anyone included in the team may tap or re-tap other element. A public feed, descriptive and personalized badges along with additional comments make part of an on-going solution that eases employee recognition through a pleasant solution.

Besides showing recognition publicly, you may use the peer evaluation feature for situations in which 1 on 1 feedback works better. Team members may evaluate others by providing feedback that can be changed constantly according to the each employee momentum.

Tap my back was developed underpinned on a gamification structure. Therefore it provides managers with several insights such as top performers, low morale employees or even each person strenghts and weakenesses.

Tap My Back is ideal to assess and boost employee engagement on a daily basis

“Happiness is the secret ingredient for successful businesses. If you have a happy company it will be invincible.” – Sir Richard Branson

Erika Andersen on performance and leadership

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Erika Andersen is the founding partner of Proteus, a consulting and training firm that focuses on leader readiness. She serves as coach and advisor to the senior executives of such companies as GE, Time Warner Cable, TJX, NBC Universal and Union Square Hospitality Group. Andersen is the best-selling author of Leading So People Will Follow, Being Strategic, Growing Great Employees, and Be Bad First (coming in March) and the author and host of Being Strategic with Erika Andersen on Public Television. She is also one of the most-read leadership bloggers at Forbes.com. She took the time to answer a few questions for Tap My Back regarding leadership and performance that we are very glad to share them with all of you.

TMB: Do you remember when you started to get passionate about employee engagement and leadership? Was there a defining moment?

Erika: It was in 1980. I had just started working for a small consulting company that was focused on helping people learn better at work. I was young and idealistic, and I kind of assumed that most people liked their jobs. Then we started working with a big telephone company, and I had a rude awakening. I saw how badly many people were treated at work, and how distrustful and disengaged they were as a result. It started me down a life-long path of wanting to help build better leaders, who would be better able to make work a more satisfying and productive experience for people.

TMB: A study says that 64% of all employees who quit their jobs didn’t feel recognized for their work. Should we worry?

Erika: Of course! We should worry — and be irritated at ourselves! How difficult is it to acknowledge people when they do good work? It’s easy. Think about the last time you said something kind to your kid or your spouse; “thanks for taking out the trash” or “I really appreciated you picking up the kids when I got stuck in that meeting.” Employees need exactly the same thing, and it’s that simple. Companies just need to help managers understand the impact it can have on the business (per your statistic), teach them how to do it consistently and honestly, and hold them accountable for doing it – make it part of what it means to be a successful manager.

TMB: Can you give me five simple ideas any leader of any company can use to motivate his/her staff?

Erika: People tend to think “perks” are motivating – parties, food in the break room, free tickets to concerts, etc. Those things are nice, but if you really want to inspire loyalty and results – to truly motivate people to do and be their best, it has to start with you as the leader. Who you are, how you show up every day. I’ve written and spoken about this a lot (in fact, I wrote a whole book about it called Leading So People Will Follow). What we’ve found is this: if you’re consistently Farsighted, Passionate, Courageous, Wise, Generous and Trustworthy in dealing with your people, that will be enormously motivating to them. It will elicit their respect and admiration…and they’ll do great things and follow you through whatever changes come.

TMB: Traditional annual performance reviews vs continuous feedback? Who wins your heart?

Erika: Both. I think continuous feedback is essential – especially today, when we all read online reviews to decide whether to buy things, and watch reality TV shows where people get on-the-spot feedback about themselves or their performance. It’s also incredibly useful. At my company, Proteus, we’ve created a very feedback-rich environment, and once people get used to it, they really thrive on having real-time information about what’s working and what’s not. There’s no better medium for growth. At the same time, I think it’s very valuable to have a structured yearly conversation where you and your boss can look back and look ahead, take the long view and get a sense of how your career is trending overall – and where you need to focus your attention to keep growing.

TMB: Is public recognition really so much better than money when it comes to staff motivation? And in the long run?

Erika: There’s a lot of good data that shows that money is a good motivator only up to a certain point. After that point (which is whatever that individuals sees as a comfortable living wage), more money doesn’t motivate better performance. What does encourage higher performance? Opportunities at work for mastery, purpose and autonomy – that is, to be given the freedom and support to get good at things that are meaningful to you. These three things have been shown to be far more motivating for the vast majority of people. Dan Pink’s great book Drive gives the best explanation of and research around this of any popular book I know.

TMB: In your opinion, what are the three big trends in employee engagement for the next 5 years?

Erika: To build on the previous question: mastery, purpose and autonomy. I think we can build huge engagement by showing employees how the work they do is meaningful. Like, what they contribute to others or to the world through their actions. And also by involving them in conversations about how to make it more meaningful. We can also support their deep will to mastery by helping them to become great learners – masters of mastery, if you will. That’s a capability that’s deeply satisfying to people – and essential to building successful businesses. (It’s also the topic of my latest book, Be Bad First). And finally, I think we’ll need to satisfy people’s need for autonomy by figuring out how to make work increasingly flexible for as many people as possible: to start thinking in new ways about where, how and with whom our employees work. If we can focus on how to provide these three core elements in people’s work lives, I think we’ll be able to change today’s truly dreadful engagement statistics and build and stronger and happier workforce.

Our many thanks to Erika for her time and awesome insights. If you want to know more about her, here are some links:
http://erikaandersen.com/
@erikaandersen

If you want to know more about Tap My Back, an employee engagement software, you can visit us and try it for free here.

Create your team and try Tap My Back

Top Tips and Tools to Improve your Productivity

Top Tips and Tools to Improve your Productivity

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Guest post from Signable.

At Signable HQ, we’re big believers in embracing technology – as you’d come to expect from a software company. But we don’t just rely on our own technology to help things along, we embrace a few other tools, too.

Today it’s easier than it’s ever been to find an app to help with a problem you’re having. Technology is everywhere you look, which has enabled enormous productivity gains for businesses everywhere. 64% of SMB’s are already adopting software solutions, and this is growing to an estimated 88% by 2017. But with such a saturated market, it can be difficult to spot the right solution. Which is why we’ve put together some of the favorites we use, and just how they help us achieve higher, improve productivity and a happy team.

1. Keep it simple – have a to-do list with Remember The Milk

Start with something simple. Remember The Milk is a straightforward app that you add your to-do list to. Easy right? You can organize whether you’re using for work or personal, set reminders for specific tasks, break tasks down into subtasks and of course, share your tasks with others.

By organizing your daily tasks and having the reassurance of set reminders, you can comfortably carry on with tasks, knowing that you’re not forgetting anything and reduce stress around any tasks that could have tight deadlines.

2. Be transparent and encourage communication – use Hipchat

Adopting this approach is a great start. Hipchat is a chat platform which we use every day to talk about all things Signable. And of course, all things not. It’s an incredibly useful tool which we’ve come to rely on as our central hub for communication and information. Having a central point for all your information means that you keep everything searchable, and if a team member is busy, they get to prioritize their work over being interrupted (breaking someone’s concentration is definitely not cool), by checking in with the chat when they’re ready.

By creating a culture where communication is completely open we rely less and less on internal email – this helps save time clearing down emails every morning! It also means cutting team members out of the loop is kept to a minimum, and gives us the option to work in a distributed way if need, or want, be. And giving your team that freedom means you’ll have one happy team, if Team Signable is anything to go by, anyway.

3. Keep it simple & plan your processes – use Trello

We just want to start by saying; Trello is great. Its idea is a simple one, but can be used in a lot of different ways – and Team Signable uses it to help with their day to day work.

Trello is essentially a software tool that helps you make lists. And that’s just how we use it. By creating boards specific to each department or project and within them, sections of lists for work that’s planned. Each list has individual cards with tasks which can be assigned to team members as needed. Within these teams are able to have conversations specific to that task, or add comments & updates, and notifications are sent to all parties involved in each task whenever a change or update happens.

Having work planned out in an interactive and visual way helps organize our workloads as well as encouraging collaboration. This means that as and when new ideas come to someone, it’s easier to contribute and can be done according to their schedule. While reinforcing a view that everyone’s opinion is valued.

4. Simplify sending documents – go paperless with Signable!

We might be a bit biased on this point, but if your business sends documents in any capacity, an e-signature solution is super beneficial. Signable helps to improve productivity by sending documents to its signer instantly and by removing a time consuming paper-based filing system.

Our electronic signatures are also a very effective way of making a recruitment process sleeker. As soon as you have selected your successful candidate you can immediately email their contract through the e-signature platform. They can then review and sign according to their schedule, or even on-the-go, and contracts are returned as soon as they’re completed. Removing the need for in-store visits and cut out printing and postage costs. Meaning that teams get to finish work quicker increasing their productivity and take their focus away from admin to focus on other aspects of their work.

So give them a try! By utilizing tools that up your team’s output, you’ll consequently see a boost in team morale. Cementing a culture where the staff is encouraged in a positive way to always be improving. Win-win!

 

How to motivate millennials at work

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Being a mobile and social employee recognition platform, here at Tap My Back we like to focus our attention on millennials and how to motivate them at the workplace. By next year, millennials will account 36% of the U.S. workforce, and by 2020, millennials will be half of all workers. Studies say most of them are not engaged in the companies, so how can we motivate them? Here some ways to do it.

Give them work-life balance and be flexible

Millennials have different needs when it comes to personal and social life. They are more likely to have low motivation when they are working in a rigid 9 to 5 schedule, every single day. See how they perform better and don’t be afraid to be flexible. Let them do their own schedule or even work at home. You’ll probably be surprised by the increase in productivity you’ll see. See a Millennial watching a YouTube video or browsing Instagram at work? Don’t worry, it’s just how they relax and has nothing to do with being lazy or unprofessional.

Invest in their training

Millennials are eager to learn. They are constantly absorbing huge amounts of information online and via multiple channels. They are great multitaskers and learn fast. Very fast! Invest in their training and let them try new things. They want professional development and that’s a key factor for millennial talent retention.

Give them continuous feedback

Millennials don’t like the formal annual evaluation process. Their world moves fast and is real-time. They like to have continuous feedback on what they are doing. Don’t wait for them to ask about their performance, use regular meetings, coffee breaks or other moments to advise constructive critics and compliments. You can also use some kind of continuous feedback and public recognition software, like Tap My Back 🙂

Give them responsibility

Millennials may seem a generation that doesn’t like responsibility but it’s all looks. If you want to motivate a millennial you have to give them tasks where they feel some kind of ownership. They want to make decisions and they like to take risks.

Give them mentors

Don’t think that by giving them responsibility you should leave them alone to take all decisions and to learn everything by themselves. On the contrary! Millennials have a special need for guidance and for having a mentor that they can look up to. Partner them with top performers and you’ll see a great boost in productivity and morale.

Use their techie DNA

They were born digital, connected and fast-paced. They learn about new technologies every day and they know how to use it to solve problems. Talk to them to know if they can help in any task with their technological skills and know how. They will feel appreciated for their skills and you’ll get problems solved in very creative ways.

COMPENSATION PACKAGE

Millennials expect more than just salary. The value paid lunch, health benefits and tangible rewards for their efforts. Stock options for startups are also a great incentive to engage recent grad employees. When basic compensation expectations are met, then recognition takes charge. If they are satisfied with their salary, you’ll probably get more motivation and productivity by giving them public recognition for their work, then by doing an upgrade in their paycheck.

By now, you are probably thinking «This motivation techniques should be done not only for millennials but for all employees!». You know what? That’s absolutely true. Millennials are regular people and more importantly, each person is unique and has different needs. For a leader to motivate employees, he or she has to know them on a personal level and understand what kind of person is behind the employee tag number. That’s the secret to staff motivation: to forget about the word staff and substitute it by the words human being.

If you do that, maybe you won’t get this kind of numbers between how Millennials see themselves and how HR Professionals see them.

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Want to test our team motivation feature for free? Just click here, create your team and start our employee engagement program.

Create your team and try Tap My Back

3 Leadership Principles Every Leader Needs to Remember

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With so many blogs, approaches and tips on leadership, how to pick the right one for you? As in any other context, there is no simple formula for a good leadership. Circumstances change and people need to adapt accordingly. That is why there are so many approaches to leadership. The variety of perspectives reveal different experiences and give answers to the different challenges leaders need to deal with. This is a good thing!

Despite this diversity, there are some important rules of leadership that need to be considered. Following our analysis of the top ten leadership blogs, we discovered that most of the approaches and tips fitted into three basic principles of leadership.

Networking

Leaders cannot be leaders alone. In order to do it, leaders and followers must be or feel connected with each other. As an intermediary between people, one of the leader’s priorities is to try to generate strong and healthy bonds with and within an organization. When this happens, leadership helps to reinforce a group, making it more solid, more cohesive. Within this context, experts in leadership give some interesting advice. Keep in contact and communicate with your team through one-to-one conversations, regular staff meetings, going around the office (s) saying hello to people, sending email on special occasions, etc. Communication (talking and listening) is a great way of developing a sense of belonging and mutual trust. Bottom line, it’s much easier to lead someone who sees the leader, although with a different mission, as an ally, a member of the team.

Direction

A leader must lead the way. Leadership should work as a gravitational force that not only concentrates dispersed human energy but also orients that energy in the right direction. Providing direction has an internal and an external dimension. At the internal level, when giving guidance, establishing priorities or leading by example, a leader should contribute to bringing out the best of people, so teams become more efficient, more effective and harmonious. At the external level, a leader should select the missions that motivate a team and contribute for the success of an organization.

In sum, direction means focusing the efforts on the right battles. How? For instance, a leader must communicate and be clear about the collective and individual goals. In this way, people understand what is expected of them and the desired results. Frequent communication is imperative to assure everyone is aligned with the global mission. It’s also a way to reinforce the sense of belonging, i.e. each team member knows he is contributing to something bigger. Leading the way also means motivating a team and setting the example. While working hard to achieve a goal, team members may step on some stumbling blocks. In this situation, a leader must show a positive attitude towards problems by never giving up, by reminding everyone all the good things that were already accomplished and the importance of the ultimate outcome, why this goal is worth the effort.

Leadership is not about the leader

Whether in a team, a department, a company or a country, leadership is always about a collective project. Leadership is a noble but difficult mission. With all the stress and responsibility that comes with coordination and decision-making, some leaders may start thinking that it’s all about them. They may even think they deserve more recognition, rewards, power and to be the priority of the organization because nothing would work without them. One way to avoid this tendency is to stay connected with the rest of the team, and especially with close people who care more about the bigger purpose than hierarchy or prestige. As a leader, you need advisors who aren’t afraid to confront you, to be honest with you and to remind you what is your role and your mission.

Tap My Back is a recognition and feedback employee software that allows anyone within a company to share private feedback and praise each-other in a public way. Start now and improve employee engagement!

Create your team and try Tap My Back

10 Ways How Not Motivate Your Staff

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You are so good at your job that I will keep you indefinitely in that position, without new and challenging tasks!

Sometimes is hard for an employer to let their best team members try new things, just because they now at what tasks they can excel and bring value to the company. But even a guru in a specific area needs, from time to time, new and exciting challenges. Things he or she doesn’t know how to do right away. Recognize good work with new responsibilities and confidence they can do an amazing job out of their comfort zone.

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You didn’t know you were making things wrong? I frowned a lot, you should’ve noticed.

Don’t be that kind of boss that doesn’t give continuous feedback to your team. Don’t wait until the (boring) annual performance review to let your employees know what they are doing wrong. Give them hints; guide them through the mistakes they will naturally make. Don’t expect your team to know everything and to acknowledge by magic if you are happy or not with their work. Give them feedback and promote a culture where they are comfortable to ask you about your opinion on their job.

That’s a dumb idea you have there!

There are no dumb ideas… wrong! Of course, they are! We all know that sometimes everyone drops a stupid idea in a brainstorming, in a meeting or at the coffee machine. Keep it calm and don’t destroy the idea right away, try to know the reasons behind it. If you shut down all ideas, your team will be afraid to present you new ones. And you never know, when after a ridiculous idea comes a great one that can change the game. Be subtle when rejecting ideas, especially if more than one in a row coming from the same person.

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Let me review everything you just did… (because I don’t trust you)

Micromanaging is a b**ch. When you want to review everything an employee just did, you are thinking you are passing an image of da edicated boss but in fact ,you are saying you have trust issues. Let the creativity and sense of responsibility flourish inside your team, let them make decisions. Let them make mistakes.

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I’m busting my a** off!

Yeah… nobody cares. Don’t bring your problems to the team. Don’t try to make them feel sorry for you. You are the boss; you have a better paycheck so you should be busting it off. Don’t bring that kind of negative energy to the team, you should be the one they look up as the one that can get stuff done. That can solve their problems and that is able to keep it all together. They are probably working hard, figuring out new things all week, they don’t need to know about your problems. It’s hard, I know, that’s why you are the boss.

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Congratulations! (in private)

Employee recognition and appraisal have a lot more results in terms of motivation if they are done in public. People live for the applause and want their peers to see their achievements.

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You are doing everything wrong! (in public)

Big, big, big mistake. Don’t ever criticize a team member in public (especially if you are the kind of boss that congratulates in private). If an employee needs to be lectured, use that beautiful ssoundproofoffice you just bought. Don’t try to make examples to the whole team by stating what a specific person did wrong, in front of all the staff. It’s hard to receive criticism and to transform it into fuel for motivation and change, but if you do it properly and in private, you have better chances of achieving that.

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Happy birthday! I have this gift for you: spoiler alert, it’s a report to be on my desk by the end of the day.

Little things can boost employee engagement and motivation. Nowadays, people spend their birthday responding to text messages and replying with “Thank you” to Facebook posts from people they don’t even remember. So, why not give the day off to the birthday boy or girl? What harm can it bring to the company to give a vacation on this special day? Try it. They will come the next they with higher motivation and drive to run the extra mile.

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Surprise m*******cker!!!

Don’t change your mind every two seconds. Don’t assign tasks or projects that will be thrown in the garbage right away. One of the main reasons of lack of motivation at work is to feel that your work is not valuable and you are not being recognized for what you do. What can be worse of seeing that perfect presentation you were working all week to go the garbage bin because your boss changed minds and decided to go on another route instead? Yes, of course ,it can happen and your team must be prepared for it, just try it minimize the damage.

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You want a raise? Better start working late.

If you try to squeeze every drop of juice from an orange, you will eventually get some parts of the skin that don’t taste good. With your team, it’s the same way. If you try to take it all, without giving something, you will end up with a tired and demotivated team. Don’t make assumptions that working late every day is an obligation or an expected objective to be fulfilled in order to get a promotion or a raise. If you want a great team, make them fill that you care about their personal and social life and recognize their efforts during the work hours in their contract.

With TapMyBack you can boost your employee recognition and engagement and build stronger teams. This simple app software boosts your staff motivation through the power of peer-to-peer recognition and continuous feedback.

Try it out, it’s free.

 

Create your team and try Tap My Back