Employees like to feel valued and appreciated for what they do.
When employees commit to working for an organization, they like to feel like they are part of a team and family.
Often, they spend more time with coworkers than most other people in their lives.
Recognizing the contributions employees make to an organization helps solidify relationships, fosters employee engagement, and loyalty to the organization.
We are all wired differently, and not every social style needs public recognition, but even the most introverted person appreciates recognition for a job well done.
We all have a basic need to feel valued and loved.
I’m always amazed when I acknowledge someone’s good performance or, recognize something they have done, at how they smile and seem to appreciate the feedback.
Whether an employee is an introvert or an extrovert, it is important to recognize them for their hard work.
There are two types of recognition
You don’t need to have an overly formal process, spontaneous recognition is also important and can send a strong message.
The closer recognition comes to a task, the more the employee will associate that recognition with the desired behavior.
Spontaneous recognition can be as simple as walking by an employee, observing the desired behavior, and commenting on how much you appreciate it.
These informal moments are invaluable and can reinforce an employee’s desire to do a good job.
Part of the challenge of recognizing employees is making it a priority, stopping to think about it, and doing it on a regular basis.
Creating a structure for formal employee recognition is important and can help ensure employees get recognized.
This can be as simple as designating a certain month of the year as a month that employee contributions are recognized.
Or, as structured as developing an employee-of-the-month program or employee-of-the-year dinner.
So what are some things that can be done to recognize employees?
Identify what is important to the employee
When doing employee recognition, it is important to find out what is important to the employee.
It’s amazing how we think we know what would be really cool for someone else and then come to find out it is not as cool as we thought.
Some employees may value a day off with a family or a preferred parking space. Others may value a dinner gift certificate, a home improvement store gift card, or a mall gift certificate.
The ideas are endless but the key is to find out what is important to that employee and identify a recognition gift that they would value and appreciate.
Ways to recognize employees
There are lots of approaches to surprising and/or recognizing employees.
- public forums
- staff meetings
- annual employee dinners
- organization newsletters
- put a plaque on a wall
- surprising them at lunch
- meet them at their car at the end of the day
- a poster in the lobby
- a spot on the company website.
The ideas are endless and so is the potential for creativity.
Use your imagination and draw on the ideas of coworkers and those who know the employee best.
There are also organizations that sell employee recognition gift catalogs.
The gifts come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be customized at varying price levels for budgeting purposes.
The beauty of these programs is the employee can pick out a gift they want!
Let them order their gift, and when it arrives, present it to them with a thank you!
Regardless of the recognition model you come up with, if you tell your employees what is expected of them, give them the resources to do their job and recognize them for a job well done, you will be well on your way to providing a great place to work and an organization that employees want to be part of!