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Five effective ways to rock at employee recognition

Employee recognition should be an important part of any workplace culture. In recent years it has become expected. In some companies giving employees rewards has become so common place that it is difficult to show recognition for exceptional work. While it is important to keep employees happy and productive, this doesn’t necessarily mean rewarding them every time they clock-in on time and perform the task they were hired for.

Showing recognition should make an employee truly feel appreciated for their extra effort, if it is to be effective.  Here are 5 tips on how to make employee recognition a successful part of your culture at work.

1. Don’t procrastinate

When you notice exceptional performance, recognise their efforts immediately. It doesn’t even have to include a gift. Words of praise and encouragement can help them stay motivated, and make them feel like an important part of the team. Often if the praise is too late, it won’t have the same positive effect.

2. Be specific

Random praise will not seem as meaningful to employees and staff. Bosses and managers need to put the praise in context with the task.  This lets them know that you are aware of their efforts, and providing them with support. This is important if you want your recognition to mean anything to employees.

3. Should be appropriate for the occasion

A common mistake is showing employees recognition that is too much or little for the occasion. While a badge might be appropriate for a staff member that didn’t miss a day, it might be too little if the employee just landed one of the biggest contracts of their career. Whether it is a gift or verbal praise, it should fit the employee’s efforts.

4. Should be social

Automated recognition systems are convenient tools that overworked HR teams often employ, but it is not always effective. In some cases it is okay to thank an employee using an automated system, but if the work was exceptional the praise should be given socially. This can include a hand written note, personal phone call or seeking out the employee for a positive face-to-face meeting.

5. Make the employee feel valued

Most staff members have an idea of their worth in the company, and giving monetary rewards for recognition can backfire. When employees feel like their value can always be translated into money, it can make them feel less appreciated. Employees should feel like they are valued and not just numbers.

Society has come to expect almost instantaneous recognition for everything they do, and this has translated into how employees want to be treated at work. While it is true that showing employee recognition is important for company loyalty, productivity, and even the success of the business, it is also crucial that staff are rewarded appropriately for the right things. Monetary gifts do not always make the best rewards. Instead take the time to provide well-deserving staff with praise and recognition.

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From annual big awards ceremonies to monthly or weekly recognition meetings, acknowledging the effort your employees put into their work helps to:

  1. Strengthen teams, who are able to see the contributions their co-workers are making
  2. Inspire other employees to perform better
  3. Maintain high-performance momentum for award recipients
  4. Foster company trust and loyalty
  5. Decrease absenteeism, turnover, and stress in the workplace

The best part about implementing an employee award program is that it yields a positive return on investment and fits all budgets and needs.

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