4 Beneficial Ways to Give Recognition to Your Employees

Recognition leads to retention. When employees are more fulfilled and engaged in their work and acknowledged for it by their colleagues and superiors, they (and the company) will perform better. With the new year starting, you need to come up with new resolutions. There is no better time than now to make it a goal and take action to give your employees the recognition they deserve. Before sharing tips, let’s define recognition according to HR Council. “Employee recognition is the acknowledgment of an individual or team’s behavior, effort, and accomplishments that support the organization’s goals and values. Recognition is not one-size-fits-all. Thought needs to go into what would be appreciated by the person being recognized.” (Source: HR Council) So how do you do this? Below are some simple but effective ways to boost company and cultural ROI through authentic recognition. Remember to make it genuine.

1. Verbal Recognition

Think about the last time someone you work with told you, “You’re doing a great job!”. How did it make you feel? For most of us, genuine recognition of strong performance can be a powerful motivator. 50% of employees believe being thanked by managers not only improve their relationships but also builds trust with their higher-ups. (Source: Cicero Group) You can start by adding a thank you section to your weekly meeting or in performance review handouts. Along with a simple “Thank you!”, “Great job!”, or “I love your idea!”, you can verbally announce your employees’ accomplishments in a group meeting so multiple departments and levels can hear of their successes. Sharing tips to encourage peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to get multiple employees engaged and show appreciation for performance. In fact, 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen a positive increase in customer satisfaction. (Source: SHRM/Globoforce)

2. Social Recognition

Social recognition is a free, valuable way to give your top performers the credit they deserve. You can give a shout-out on social media, through email, on a bulletin board in the office, or in your Payroll and HRM software like Dominion’s Company Alerts. 

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I recommend giving shout-outs for birthdays, work anniversaries, and any other personal accomplishments. Sometimes recognition for one accomplishment can be shown in multiple ways. Did an employee go the extra mile with a client? Employee of the Month awards are something employees will look forward to and work hard to earn. Recognize them on social media, in the monthly newsletter, announce at monthly meetings, and take them out to lunch.

3. Use Actions More than Words

Sometimes the employee just wants to be shown you care about them as a person (vs. just a person working a job). 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. (Source: SocialCast) This can be achieved by not only listening to your employees' ideas and suggestions but also acting upon them. If their idea isn’t logical or realistic -- explain why. If you think it’s a good idea, don’t just agree with them -- share their idea with upper management. If your employee raises a concern in the workplace -- give that concern to the correct person who can make a change to better the work environment. If an employee has shown the characteristics and skills needed to perform in a higher position -- promote them. Again, it is not enough to verbally agree with your employee's idea if you don’t do anything about it. This shows you don’t truly value their knowledge and thoughts. At the bare minimum, thank them for sharing their suggestion, give a logical explanation as to why you may or may not follow through with the idea and encourage them to continue to make suggestions.

4. Monetary Recognition

Sometimes your top performers deserve more than just a shout-out or pat on the back. These top performers can be recognized in a monetary form. You can give a gift card, treat them to a nice dinner, buy them a coffee of their choosing, or give them a raise or bonus. Many companies reward their President’s Club winners with a vacation. While this is not physical money in the employee’s pocket, the employee will have a great time getting away from the office and enjoying themselves for their hard work. Bonus points for your company if you can make their trip more memorable by adding a personal touch. This can be done by taking a picture on an excursion during the vacation, which you then frame for a souvenir or setting up a face-to-face interaction between your employee and the CEO, which is a great networking opportunity.

While the above are proven ways to recognize your employees performance and keep them happy, go ahead and ask your employees how they specifically would feel the most appreciated for their work. With a diverse workplace, one person might prefer a free lunch, while another might find a handshake from the President more meaningful. Start a conversation. Engage with your staff, listen to them, and recognize their hard work and they will reward you with increased sales, better customer service, and longer loyalty to your company. Learn The Importance of Employee Recognition here.

How do you recognize your staff or clients? Do you have a memorable recognition story? Share in the comments!