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Reward programs allows managers to increase employee performance

Improving team performance is often about helping existing managers expand their leadership capabilities.

Managers are the key to boosting productivity within companies. A good manager will be able to inspire his or her team to work harder, smarter and longer to deliver the best possible product. While top-notch leaders are hard to find, a recent article by Employee Benefits states improving team performance is often about helping existing managers expand their leadership capabilities.

One of the first characteristics that exceptional leaders need to develop is consistency. Regularly acknowledging when employees have gone beyond their roles to solve a problem or achieve a goal can motivate staff members to routinely expend a little extra effort. Teaching managers to be consistent in their praise helps organizations maintain a supportive and productive culture.

"You will always get managers who naturally reward and those who see everything as part of an employee's day job," Heather Rogers, sales director at Red Letter Days, told the source. "I think the challenge within any business is to get consistency, and the only way [employers] can do that is to drive awareness to managers and embed a recognition culture within the business."

Rogers warns that expecting employees to go the extra mile could result in lower productivity and engagement levels. Employee reward and recognition programs can help businesses maintain the proper level of respect for staff members who are willing to put in long hours and take on additional responsibilities. These initiatives are instrumental in increasing job ownership by employees.

Increasing flexibility within groups
Engaged workers are willing to take responsibility for assignments and strive to exceed expectations. Ownership of tasks is possible if managers are flexible in their management style. Reward programs let leaders turn projects over to teams by recognizing and rewarding the contributions of each team member. The flexibility to complete projects any way they see fit allows individuals and groups to take pride in the work, which helps them strive harder for better results.

Group dynamics also play a role in the success of incentive programs. A study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that participants of group wellness programs saw higher levels of success than those seeking individual rewards. In the book Top Dog, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman state that support and encouragement from teammates helps to ignite competitive fire within participants. Workers do not want to let their friends and co-workers down and so offer their skills and put in extra work to ensure the whole group succeeds. Managers that provide flexibility within a group setting could create the right environment for their teams to thrive.

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