My dad is a small business consultant. He travels the country every week helping to improve or often “fix” broken companies. He is very good at what he does and is incredibly knowledgeable about both the technical and psychological workings of business. I love hearing all about the unusual companies he visits and picking his brain about how he helps them. Occasionally I find a nugget of wisdom that translates into my “professional Mommy” life.
What would you guess is the single greatest employee motivator? Did you say monetary incentives? While proper salaries are important, the correct answer is actually public recognition of a job well done. Attaching a sense of self-worth to a task is a much more significant driver than money alone.
Kids are kind of like little employees. My kids have age-appropriate jobs they do around the house to help out. In the past, I had been inconsistent about recording and rewarding those jobs. But, after turning 5, we sat down with Songbird and included her in the process of brainstorming ideas for her new “big helper board.”
Together we came up with 5 responsibilities that she feels confident she can accomplish daily. Earning glitter stars for jobs well done, she is eager to fill her chart each day.
If she forgets or neglects a job, there are creative ways we allow her to re-earn the star (ie: read us a book, help unload the dishwasher, or other tasks not on the chart). At the end of the week, if all the squares are filled, she earns $5. She gives $1 to church for tithe, $1 goes into savings, and $3 goes into her wallet to use towards purchases of her choosing.
Motivated by visual public recognition, a growing sense of pride at contributing to the success of our family, and little pocket jingle to call her own. That’s Business 101, folks!
Come back Friday for a quick tutorial on how to make your own magnetic/dry erase “big helper board,” including sources for materials.