Employee recognition has always been a cornerstone of effective management.
But today, as the business landscape evolves and competition for talent escalates, demonstrating to employees that they are valued and appreciated has taken on a new level of importance. It paves the way for retention while increasing employee engagement and encouraging high performance. Creating a recognition program is a good start, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Companies need to go further, constantly reevaluating the ways they reward employees and rethinking how they can add value to the employee appreciation experience.
In this article, we will examine seven smart ways that workplaces can embrace employee appreciation and tailor their efforts to bolster engagement.
1. Don’t limit your praise to numerical performance.
Employee recognition refers to all the ways an organization shows its appreciation for team members’ contributions. It can take many forms and they may or may not involve compensation. While reaching or surpassing performance goals is one element that may be considered, don’t overlook the many other important contributions that go into making your workplace exceptional. Exhibiting desired behaviors (e.g. excellent customer care or remarkable teamwork); going above and beyond expectations; and achieving milestones such as tenure are all worthy of appreciation too.
2. Make it timely.
Recognition that comes long after the fact isn’t nearly as impactful as when the acknowledgment is received promptly. As time goes on, the excitement wears off and affirmations may feel less than authentic. Instead, make employee appreciation a priority and have formal systems in place so you can immediately express your appreciation.
3. Be specific and relevant.
Make your appreciation efforts more meaningful by tying them to specific accomplishments or business objectives. Explaining what the recognition is for helps team members relate it to their actions, which encourages continued interest and strong performance.
4. Recognition can come in many shapes and sizes.
A great deal of research indicates that people are often motivated by more than just cold hard cash. It is also important to note that we all have our own preferences when it comes to giving and receiving appreciation. Consider customized tokens of appreciation, such as a gift card that reflects the employee’s interests or passions, to create a more meaningful reward.
5. Even little things can go a long way.
While it’s vital to recognize major accomplishments, don’t overlook the power of the everyday thank-you. Writing handwritten notes is one great, personalized way to create a culture of employee recognition. Keep in mind that the thank yous and shout-outs don’t necessarily have to come from management. Appreciation can be especially sweet when it comes from peers and colleagues.
6. Connect efforts to the bigger picture.
Recognition helps employees see that the company values them and their contributions. This is particularly important when organizations are in a state of growth, change, or upheaval, such as adjusting to the COVID-19 workplace. Creating a clear link between company-wide business objectives and individual efforts ensures that each staff member feels pride in their work and a strong sense of personal contribution.
7. Find out what’s most meaningful.
Recognition is an essential part of a great workplace and it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Ask your employees what type of recognition is most personally significant to them. You might be surprised by how much simple expressions of thankfulness can inspire them to do their best.
Now is the time to build a robust culture of recognition. If you’re seeking more clever ways to recognize your hardworking team members, The HR Team is here with the resources you need. Please contact our experienced professionals to learn more.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.