John Sylvester looks at the lessons to be learned from the American presidential elections and encourages us all to change for the better.

November saw Barack Obama re-elected as the President of United States of America for another four years. Obama and Romney spent two years throughout the campaign letting the country know their beliefs and promises for the future of America, but that can only happen when you take a moment to step back and review what needs ‘changing’ or ‘improving’.

This is a familiar notion to providers of reward and recognition schemes. All too often we encounter organisations that have stuck with the same scheme year on year, but have never taken the time to look deeper at what really gets under the skin of their employees.
So how do you know if your current motivation programme works? It might be ticking along nicely, but is it really motivating employees the way you want it to? I’m not advocating scrapping your existing scheme, far from it, but often a a few tweaks, a revitalised offering and a refocus on what’s most important can have positive effects.

Communication is vital in a motivation programme; keeping employees interested and involved will help improve participation levels, but stop the communication and you’re stopping your employees getting the best out of what they do.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the change we see” Barack Obama – Nov 2012

Don’t put off research into whether your motivational programme is working or not, put in the ground work and see if it needs a refresh. You might find that it’s working just as you’d hoped, but then again it might be time for a change… what good can come from burying your head in the sand? Whether it’s big or small – change isn’t always a bad thing, keep it relevant and ensure that it is well communicated and it will get your employees’ attention.

We all go through change, hopefully for the better, from our hairstyles  to moving house, so to keep change in the workplace positive, employees will want to clarify ‘why should I do it?… what’s in it for me?’  They won’t do something unless they are going to gain from it, which is why answering these questions from the outset of any change will help employees understand and perform to your requirements.

Whether you are the President of United States, or in charge of your company’s motivational programme, when Barack said “We are the change we see”, never has a truer word been said.