Employee Recognition Is the Key to Their Motivation

Employee Recognition Is the Key to Their Motivation

More and more companies are starting to understand the connection between employee motivation and success. Employees want to understand their role in a company’s success, and companies can tap into that desire to increase performance in positive directions.


Studies show that a key factor in engagement is acknowledging employee performance and employee contributions with rewards that have both tangible and intangible value. Here are the ways in which you can utilize employee recognition to drive performance and productivity forward.

Play Fair with Salary at the Beginning

The hiring process can be long and difficult, only to collapse over salary offers. When a company offers wages that do not reflect the value of an employee’s expected contributions, a quality candidate rejects the offer and moves on. Alternatively, a quality candidate accepts a lower salary in the hope that the company will recognize them later.


Waiting for that recognition increases stress and even resentment. Morale and engagement go down, and so too does performance.


Offering raises and bonuses may seem like a motivating factor. However, instead of encouraging an employee to go above and beyond and to remain engaged, the company’s reward is viewed as necessary to compensate for underpayment. It is no longer viewed as a bonus for exemplary performance.


Paying employees for the value of their expected contributions from the beginning sends two signals: the company knows and understandings the value of the job, and bonus and reward programs are designed for recognition when deserved – not salary corrections.

Understand the Power of Engagement

Companies encourage teamwork among staff, but often forget that the entire company is a team. Employees and managers need to work together to achieve company goals.


Employee recognition is crucial to encouraging teamwork not only among project groups, but also the entire company. Employees thrive on having their work recognized. Acknowledging strengths, skills, and their contributions to success produces higher employee engagement and satisfaction.

Appreciation is More Than Recognition

You can easily tell someone that they are doing a good job – that’s recognition. If you reward that good job, that’s appreciation.


One profound yet simple method is to provide continual and regular employee performance reviews. When employees know you care about achievement, they begin to care more, too.


Instead of relegating feedback to an annual review, regular feedback sessions reduce stress about how they are performing with the knowledge that they will also receive guidance and support. Removing the uncertainty about performance allows creativity and engagement to increase.

Rewards Have Relevance to Performance

Raises and bonuses still have a place in the workplace. People value monetary rewards as signs of achievement. However on a daily basis, the achievement of goals and recognition of hitting those goals results in higher, ongoing satisfaction for employees.


Performance is about accomplishment, and your staff feels pride when they achieve goals. Earning a degree, completing a complicated assignment, or mastering a new skill all have intrinsic value for individuals. So, too, does this concept apply in the workplace for your employees.


As employees improve and grow, recognition for those accomplishments moves beyond monetary reward to appreciation for the skills the employee used, acquired, and mastered as valuable components to the success of the company.


For most people, satisfaction at work comes from knowing not only that they are hitting their work goals, but also their contributions have meaning for company success. Recognizing these contributions through tangible and intangible rewards increases motivation that in turns creates higher performance and creativity levels.

SmartSkills Personalities versus Insights discovery

smart skills

The SmartSkills personality inventory system was created by Bob Weile and Jerry Rhodes in 1991. The test utilizes similar categories to Insights Discovery with the use of colors to label various personality types. The test covers common thinking strategies and behaviors that people use in their personal and professional lives.

Bob Weile founded OneSmartWorld, the company that produced the SmartSkills learning and teaching modules used in office and career settings around the country. The modules were produced to allow leaders of businesses and teams the ability to grow their own emotional and social intelligence.

Utilizing SmartSkills

SmartSkills was created to show people what their own emotional and psychological strengths were and how they could implement that knowledge in a business setting. Understanding one’s personal strengths can help a leader manage their employees and organize teams based on their individual personality strengths.

The SmartSkills categories use colors, much like Insights Discovery does. Hard Blue refers to people who are highly logical, fact-based decision making, straightforward thinkers, and work well under precise project descriptions. Hard Blue refers to the Reformer personality type in Insights Discovery. The next category is Hard Green, which covers people who are resourceful, ingenious, creative, and quick-thinking. This category covers the Director and Motivator personalities in Insights Discovery.

SmartSkills also has a category called Soft Green, which is defined as imaginative creative. These individuals are future-oriented, creative, and are highly visionary and are related to the Motivator and Inspirer personality types in Insights Discovery.

Soft Blue is the opposite of Hard Blue and encompasses people who are committed, make their decisions based on personal values, and interpret their situation based on their internal mindsets. This category equates to the Helper for Insights Discovery. The final two categories in SmartSkills are Hard and Soft Red. Hard Red is analytical, organized, and highly detailed, while Soft Red is sensitive, a listener, and is in tune with the needs of others. Soft Red matches with the Insight Discovery categories of Supporter and Coordinator while Hard Red equates to Observer and Coordinator.

Comparing Insights Discovery

Insights Discovery takes a slightly different track from the SmartSkills system. Insights Discovery named their four color categories (as opposed to six) with short words that described what that color meant for that personality type. The two systems aren’t all that different, but utilize slightly different methods to get their points across.

Jung opened up an entirely new world with his discoveries, and discoveries into the psychology of personality and the self are still being made today. Insights Discovery is based squarely on Jung’s theories, and as such is an invaluable tool in helping people understand themselves and others.  If you would like further help in identifying yourself or others as part of the four color personalities, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker. I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy-to-understand way. Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!

Breaking Down the Secrets of the Myers-Briggs


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is a psychological test that has become well known and is widely administered.

Carl Gustav Jung’s theory of psychological types is at the core of the Myers-Briggs. However, Jung’s theory was interpreted by the mother and daughter team of Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, who created the test for the MBTI. Although the MBTI was based on Jung’s theories, team Myers-Briggs didn’t use every notion in it and created their own twists here and there.

For example, team Myers-Briggs added a “judging-perception” dimension that was not a part of Jung’s original theory. The judging-perception is also referred to as “J vs. P.” Some say that because of the addition of “missing” portions to Jung’s theory to the MBTI both theories have their problems.

The Biggest Problem with the MBTI

According to Dictionary.com, psychometrics is the measurement of mental traits, abilities, and processes. By this definition, the MBTI has serious issues in these areas.

For example, the results of a completed MBTI are put into only two boxes, Extravert (“E”) or Introvert (“I”). Human beings don’t work this way and are far too extraordinary and dynamic to be put into just two boxes with no room for a “gray area.”

Furthermore, the scores aren’t really consistent. A test taker could end up with 20 extraversion items and no introversion items, which would result in their being classified as an extravert. However, a second test taker could get a score of 11 extraversion items and nine introversion items and still be classified as an extravert, too. This is a perfect example of the test having little to no gray area to account for the uniqueness of human beings.

Is the MBTI Still a Good Test?

Absolutely! The best use of this test might be for self-reflection. If you have never taken a personality test to see how people can vary in their personalities, or how to work with people who have different perspectives than you do, the MBTI is a great source. Subsequently, any test taker should not over-interpret the test results and should remember the limitations of the test mentioned above.

There Are Other Options for Psychological Testing

There are quite a few other psychological type tests that can be used as an alternative to the MBTI, or even stand in place of it. A popular test that is gaining ground fast is the Insights Discovery® Personal Profile. Like the MBTI, the Insights Discovery Personal Profile is also based on the same teachings of Jung. So a person being extraverted or introverted still plays a major role in this test. However, there is far greater room for a gray area, and this test does not put humans in boxes with no wiggle room. Insights Discovery Personal Profile gives its takers a greater understanding of themselves, which includes their strengths and weaknesses. It also allows the individuals to develop effective strategies for interacting with others and can help them respond more effectively and be more aware of the environment in which they live and work.

This test also ties right into the Four- Color Wheel Theory. This test helps people learn what type of person they are by suggesting four colors (Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Earth Green, and Sunshine Yellow) with which to be associated. However, no one is put in a box and labeled as just one color. A person is allowed to “lead” with one color, but also have attributes of other colors as well, which makes it very unique.

So if you are a business and are ready to discover yourself by having you and your employees take our Insights Discovery Personal Profile and learn about the Four-Color Wheel Theory, schedule me, Scott Schwefel, as your keynote speaker.

I will come to your group and address the differences in personalities in a truthful, fun, and easy to understand way. Follow me on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter to share my blogs with the color energies you work with!