Recognize, Reward, Repeat: Motivating Through Recognition

Survive & Thrive

Jan 10 2023 • 44 mins

Every organizational leader is looking for ways to increase their team's motivation, engagement, and overall productivity. But could the missing component to drive workforce success be applying leadership that encourages productivity and achievement through recognition?

On this episode of the Survive & Thrive podcast, host Jennifer Ayres is joined by guest Steve Van Valon, Partner with Concinnity and author of "The Search for Meaning at Work." Steve has built his career working with business leaders to support healthy, high-performance cultures through engaging leadership. Steve and Jennifer discuss how business leaders can influence teams to drive positive culture and organizational success.

How Does Recognition at Work Affect the Organization?

Introducing Steve Van Valen (0:04)

Jennifer introduces her guest speaker, Steve Van Valen. Steve is a member of the Concinnity leadership team and helps to lead culture offerings and leave significant impacts on organizations that seek guidance on leading a healthy workplace of the future. Steve speaks of his passion for motivating people, managing teams in beneficial work environments and working with people to help shape healthy, high-performance cultures.

The emotional impact of progress and purpose (6:11)

Steve explains his belief that when it comes to purpose, people must multitask to be fulfilled at work. He built upon this idea within his book, where he identifies 11 different amplifiers of meaning that play a part at work. He explains that leaders can clarify organizational purpose for people in many ways and how doing so will enable their team members to derive meaning from it and reveal creative possibilities to lead with purpose. Steve and Jennifer discuss how emotion can drive motivation and can allow people to amplify their sense of purpose at work.

How progress towards purpose creates meaning (10:40)

Progress can be measured in many different ways. Steve explains how identifying and gaining clarity in an organization's purpose can help people recognize their progress and achievement. He goes on to discuss how having a sense of purpose at work can dictate whether someone has meaning, as progress toward purpose creates meaning. Engaging people in the workplace can, in turn, lead to progress and fulfillment since people are naturally wired to want to desire to make progress and to feel meaning and a sense of self-satisfaction through their work.

The importance of loyalty, giving, and taking (15:33)

People gain a sense of belonging when they are a part of a work team. However, a feeling of loyalty would require them to enjoy benefiting their organization and experience benefits from the company in exchange. According to Steve, this relationship is just one step toward gaining a spiritual sense of meaning from their work. He explains how organizations can foster this sense of meaning, leading to engagement and better performance from their team members.

How does respect unlock authenticity? (19:49)

Steve and Jennifer discuss inclusivity, affirmation, and authenticity a lot throughout this interview, and for a good reason. When people connect to a sense of altruism and fulfillment from their work, they become more driven to continue working. Steve explains this and his beliefs that respect unlocks authenticity. He discusses the importance of respect at work and how showing respect and building trust can lead to feelings of psychological safety and promote authenticity.

Extending trust (23:58)

Steve's book provides practical steps, suggestions, and actions to help leaders build trust in the workplace using autonomy. For example, providing flexibility within schedules can nurture a sense of respect in the workplace. He explains on the podcast how his book used...