While there are many factors to the success of your business, your employees are certainly among the main ones. When your employees are fully engaged in the workplace and are satisfied, they bring positive vibes to the workplace and ultimately improve the bottom line of the company.
When your employees couldn’t care less about the company, not only will they be of no benefit to the company, but they might actually be a hindrance. They bring negative energy to the workplace and drain the other employees of their positive energy.
So, how do you get your employees to be more engaged in the workplace and more satisfied with what they are doing? A great solution to this is employee recognition. When employees get their work noticed or when they feel appreciated for the contribution they are making to the company, they are more likely to put in more effort and are also more likely to be both engaged and satisfied.
Employee recognition, however, cannot be narrowed down to one activity. There are a host of ways that recognition could be done for your employees. In this article, we will explore 7 of the most powerful and effective methods of employee recognition.
1. Collective Recognition – Rewarding high-achieving departments
The first step is to recognize the best performing teams in the office. There will always be some form of teamwork in the office on some tasks. With such tasks, it is much better to recognize the whole team than to recognize a single employee, since everyone will want to receive some kind of recognition for the work they have done to contribute to the team’s success.
You can reward the best performing team by giving them goodies, such as free movie tickets, or shopping vouchers, or taking them out to lunch with upper management or something of the sort. The idea is to give them some kind of collective reward that not only makes them feel good but ensures they continue to bond with each other outside of work. It will encourage them to work together more in the future.
2. Democratic Recognition – Asking employees to vote for the employee of the month
While employees generally want some kind of recognition for the work they are doing, that recognition will have a special meaning when it comes from their colleagues. Instead of simply choosing an employee of the month, which can easily be misconstrued for favouritism, ask the employees and management themselves to pick the employee of the month and to give their reasons for picking the employee.
On the one hand, the employee will feel good that their peers in the workplace recognize their efforts and think they deserve to be an employee of the month. On the other hand, when voters give their reasons for picking a particular employee for the award, other employees can take it as a learning opportunity to find out what it takes to be a high-achieving employee.
3. Extracurricular Recognition – Recognize the non-work related achievements of your employees
Your employees will likely be doing a lot more with their lives than just work. They may have bought a new house, got their first child, made a blood donation, completed a marathon, and so on. When you recognize them for these achievements outside of the workplace, it means a lot to your employees.
Sometimes, all it takes is a “congratulations” from upper management. The mere acknowledgement of their superiors for their efforts in their personal lives will make them feel appreciated as more than a mere employee at the office.
4. Structured Recognition – Employee Appreciation Programs
You can take the employee recognition seriously by starting a structured employee appreciation program. It can be points-based, for example, and focus on the positive qualities that employees bring to the workplace. These can include punctuality, finishing work ahead of schedule, exceeding targets, and so on. It could be a little competition among the employees to try and rack up as many points as they possibly can.
These points can then be aggregated at the end of a collection period, such as a month, and be redeemed by employees for various benefits. They might include leaving a little earlier than usual, gift vouchers, an extra day of leave, and so on. When such long term employee programs exist, they help to keep employees constantly motivated as there are incentives for them to do so.
5. Celebratory Recognition – Have a Celebration Calendar for Employees
Employees will obviously have major milestones, such as anniversaries and birthdays. It would mean a lot to them if management celebrated their milestones along with them. You can organize surprise parties or a simple birthday cake for the office to enjoy, a gift voucher, and so on. You can even get a birthday card and get every one of the employee’s colleagues to write a little note in it.
6. Milestone Recognition – Recognise professional development milestones of the employee
Your employees will have some ambitions and set goals for their professional development, and it would mean a lot to them if their organisation showed interest in that.
There are different ways this could be done. The first way is to reimburse a portion or the full cost of their professional development courses. Even if you don’t have the budget for reimbursement, a structured mechanism of providing a knowledge base of development opportunities could be really helpful for them. This could include sending periodic career development newsletters or simply forwarding useful emails and links on courses that might interest them and that might help to fast track their development.
This kind of interest shows that the management wants to genuinely help employees make it further along the path of their professional development, and they will definitely appreciate it. You can even offer them short courses and internal training sessions to kickstart their interest in development.
Yet another way that you can show interest in the professional development of employees is to start recruiting in-house. If there is a new position that requires certain skills, start by advertising it to your own employees. If any of them have the required skills, they can apply for the job and get a promotion. This will encourage employees to constantly upgrade their skills for a chance at promotion.
7. Personal Recognition – Thank your employees personally
Employees tend to assume the worst when they are summoned to the management’s office. However, you can turn those assumptions on their heads by calling an exceptional employee every now and then just to tell them how great they’ve been doing and that your company is grateful for having them around. Such chats will leave them feeling appreciated and motivate them to work even harder in the future.
There are lots of ways to show recognition to your employees without necessarily spending a lot of money as management. A simple “Thank you” every now and then can go a long way in giving your employees the motivation they need to constantly do their best for the company.
About the Author
Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger. She is interested in education technologies, essay writer services and is always ready to support informative speaking.