Meaningful Ways To Recognize Employees by #NewToHR

Meaningful Ways To Recognize Employees

Employers and business leaders are often looking for ways to improve the connection employees have to the workplace, foster creativity, and reduce turnover. They may look for outside the box ways to achieve these objectives, but they tend to underestimate the importance of small gestures, including employee recognition.

Employee recognition can go a long way to help improve the workplace in important areas like productivity. An estimated 1/3 of recently surveyed employees said recognition from their manager would serve as a motivation to work harder.

This could include verbal or pubic recognition. Only 15% of respondents in the same survey said they feel valued at work, and 26% of employees said they didn’t remember the last time they were recognized at work.

Along with underestimating the importance of recognition, another problem could be that managers and employers aren’t necessarily sure how to go about doing it and making it meaningful.

Meaningful recognition doesn’t have to come with a high price tag either. An OfficeVibe survey found 82% of employees feel praise is better than a gift.

The following are things to keep in mind to provide meaningful recognition to employees who deserve it.

Verbal Praise

Verbal praise is one of the simplest ways to provide recognition to employees. It costs nothing and requires no planning.

Try to make it a habit to praise good things when you see them in the workplace. It’s good not only for productivity and retention but also corporate culture.

Try at least once a day to praise employees when you see them doing a great job, but don’t offer empty praise because then it loses meaning.

Promote Peer Recognition

Along with recognition that comes from leadership, work on promoting peer-to-peer recognition as well.

For some employees, recognition from peers and coworkers rather than leadership can be even more meaningful and authentic since these are the people that work side-by-side with them every day.

Develop Guidelines for Your Recognition Program

If you want recognition to be part of your corporate culture and be an engrained part of what is happening every day in the workplace, formalize the program.

Create a recognition program that includes something like an employee of the month in addition to real-time, on-the-spot recognition.

The details of a recognition program should include specificity, and it should be created in a way that lines up with your business core values.

If you want to standardize employee recognition, develop something like a point system. Employees can be recognized by peers or leadership for certain behaviors, and receive a pre-determined number of points. These can be simple tasks, and then whoever has the most points at the end of a week, month or quarter receives a small prize or benefit.

The prize doesn’t have to cost money and could be something like the option to leave early on a Friday.

Reward Team Effort As Well As Individual Work

Recognizing the good work of individual employees is important, but so is recognizing the efforts of teams. You want an environment that embraces teamwork and collaboration, and often there are situations at work where the sum of the team efforts can be more effective than individual efforts.

Try to create a sense of balance between recognizing individuals and groups.  

Use Mentorship and Personal Development

Employees want to feel like they’re noticed, and like you believe in them and are willing to invest in them, even if it’s just an investment of time at the moment.

A good way to recognize the potential you see in employees and their efforts is by offering them mentorship and personal development opportunities. This is a winning option for everyone because as the employer, you are helping your employees gain important skills and you’re creating a leadership talent pipeline for the future.

Tailor Recognition to Employee Preferences

Finally, when you recognize employees, it’s important that you do so in a way that’s going to be meaningful to them, but also be in line with their preferences.

Some employees might prefer public recognition for their achievements, while others might like things to be more low-key and personal, such as a note or an email. You don’t want to make employees feel uncomfortable being recognized. This can require you to take the time to get to know employees and to try and figure out what they prefer, but this objective can be part of your overall recognition plan.

If you can implement a culture of recognition, you’re likely to see happier and more engaged employees.

© New To HR

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