The Carrot Principle and How Employee Recognition Makes Financial Sense

This past week, I attended the National Systems Contractor Association (NSCA) Business and Leadership Conference in Las Colinas, Texas. It had several great speakers and insights being shared but the one that really hit home with me this year was the presentation by Adrian Gostick who is the co-author of  “The Carrot Principle" which is about using recognition to engage and retain employees. 

In Adrian’s presentation he challenged all of us to think about the notion that if we want to run a high-performing company, we can't afford employees who are just along for the ride. From corner office to the cubicles, our work forces must be fully engaged. In other words, they must be "all in," To understand how some managers are able to get their employees to commit wholeheartedly to the company's culture, Adrian (and co-author Chester Elton) teamed up with Towers Watson, a performance-improvement consultancy, to analyze the findings of a global, 300,000-person work force study conducted during the worst of the recession. 

They found that today’s high-performance organizations have a distinctive kind of culture in which employees believe in their leaders and in the company’s mission, values and goals. These employees are not only engaged but enabled and energized. In short, they are all in. This has lead these companies to astonishing results — average annual operating revenues three times higher than companies lacking such a positive culture. 

Adrian talked about how savvy managers in a high achieving culture know when to INSPIRE and not REQUIRE in dealing with their employees as well as knowing when to CHEER and when to CHALLENGE. them. He also made a point that employees don’t “leave companies”  they leave “managers.” It was all definitely food for thought and strategies that I think ISI can use in 2014 to help us to not only achieve our goals for this year but for many years to come.

Posted by Jay Myers at 4:40 PM