Performance development: recognition as a prime motivator for outstanding performance

By Robert Côtes

Motivation to do our job is both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic means that the motivation is natural, inherent to a person’s character; it comes from within. Folks who are intrinsically motivated to perform feel a sense of pride, they find satisfaction, and are often passionate about the work they do. That has become the main driving force to do the job and do it well.

Extrinsic means that the motivation comes from an outside source. Most of us instantly think of financial rewards, but money is not the biggest motivator. There’s no denying that money is important. We all work to earn a buck but the truth of the matter is that money is only one of the reasons why we go to work every day. Even the most materialistic among us care about other kinds of motivators. Research and experience have placed one item at the top of the list: recognition.

Recognition as a prime extrinsic motivator

Being recognized for something we have done well makes us feel good. It tells us in no uncertain terms that we are “doing it right” and it motivates us to “do it again”. I recently had a conversation with someone who, during a company event, was publicly recognized for her achievements. She knew, beyond any doubt, that what she had done, she had done well. She was motivated to “do it again” because it felt good to be acknowledged and recognized by her peers.

Recognition is known to be the most powerful tool to motivate our employees to do what they are supposed to, and beyond. Recognition is free and only takes seconds out of our busy schedule. Taking the time to commend a “job well done” or saying to a colleague “I really like the way you handled the interruptions at this morning’s meeting”, helps others understand how important they are to us and to the organization. It validates that we are valued as an asset to the department rather than a liability; it acknowledges our contribution to the overall performance of the organization and its bottom line.

Recognizing our employees also clarifies performance standards because it lets them know they are on the right track.

Suggestions that will make you successful

  • -> Greet your employees. Recognize their presence. A simple “Good morning” and “Good night” is a great start
  • -> Be courteous. Say “thank you” and “welcome”
  • -> Practice “Walk-about” management. Be visible to and accessible for your employees
  • -> Get to know your team members. Ask how they are doing. Find out their likes/dislikes. Develop an interest in your employees
  • -> Listen in an unbiased and balance way. Listening is a highly effective recognition tool
  • -> Be open to suggestions. Don’t hesitate to solicit your people’s ideas for improvement and change
  • -> Look for the positives. Spend your time “catching” employees doing it right rather than focusing your energy on “catching” them doing it wrong


About Us


Since 1994, The Management Development Group has partnered with organizations committed to the development of their Managers and Supervisors into Quality Leaders. The way to achieve this is to upskill/reskill leadership teams to bring about the successful deployment and execution of Best Practices in the day-to-day management and supervision of their most valuable asset; their employees.

Our Approach


There are no shortcuts or quick fixes when it comes to training & development in People Management Skills. To achieve Best Practices, an organization truly needs to commit to a long-term development strategy, and that is precisely what The Management Development Group offers – long-term partnerships to achieve positive and lasting change, ensuring a significant return on your training investment.

Our Commitment


The company is owned and operated by Robert Côtes, who brings over 30 years of training and program design experience. His facilitation style and group leadership skills are widely acclaimed by corporate clients and graduates alike. Robert’s passion is consistently felt through his delivery combined with his undying commitment to ensure our client’s success.



High Impact Development


Our clients reach their development objectives for 3 reasons. First, our learning system is relevant, dealing with today’s management issues, and contains both educational (theory) and training (application) sessions and combined, form a powerful experiential, “learn by doing” system. The second reason for our client’s success is the facilitator’s ability to engage participants and create a supportive, fun yet candid learning environment. The third and last reason is our client’s commitment to a long term development effort, for change is not an overnight process. It takes time.

Step 1 (Core Program)

Prerequisite for Steps 2 & 3
supervisor business communication training and business communication skills for managers

Business Communication an Interpersonal Skills Management Learning System

Business Communication an Interpersonal Skills Management Learning System teaches powerful communication strategies that are used to approach, manage, and ultimately resolve day-to-day conflicts and “people issues”. The program is made up of three modules, each is a building block targeting specific communication and management skills. Training is conducted in cohorts of no more than 10 participants.

Step 2 (Follow-up)

Prerequisite; Step 1
effective communication skills course and leadership communication

Refresher Workshop

Graduates are invited back to the training room for a full review of the concepts, skills, approaches, and strategies imparted in the core program (step 1). The workshop consists of two – 3.5hr sessions with a maximum of ten (10) participants. The first session focuses on the review part of the effort while session 2 concentrates on activities that give graduates the opportunity to demonstrate the strategies learned in Step 1.

Step 3 (Optional)

Prerequisite; Step 1
performance management training and development

Performance Development a Leadership Approach to High Performance

Most organizations have at their disposal a variety of tools to measure performance levels, compare them to expected ones, and arrive at ways to achieve peak performance from their employees; all in an effort to improve and maintain organizational performance. This paper trail is indispensable and requires consistent application and monitoring in order to be effective and reach the intended objectives.



What Graduates Are Saying

(The following comments are taken from actual graduate evaluations)


A few of Our Clients