Evidence shows that recognising employees for a job well done can contribute to reduced turnover, increased productivity, a boost in company morale and increased collaboration.
Employee recognition is different from employee rewards. Most, but, increasingly these days, not all, employee reward schemes have a financial aspect. Employee recognition is to do with actively acknowledging exceptional performance or recognising when certain behaviours have been shown – for example, loyalty, hard work or just doing a really good job. There is often no or very little financial reward, but recognition schemes can have a hugely positive effect on staff morale and motivation.
When asked, managers often say they’re good at staff recognition. In one survey, 82% of bosses said they prioritised showing timely appreciation and thanks to employees who’d done a good job. Paradoxically, in the same survey, 54% of employees felt that their boss could do more to show their appreciation. Fifty per cent added that they would leave a company if they weren’t regularly thanked and recognised for their efforts.
It’s clear that employee recognition schemes are important, but what are the ingredients of an effective scheme?
- The easiest and most obvious form of recognition is to offer praise for a job well done. A simple email to thank an employee for their work after the successful completion of a task will go a long way towards making them feel valued.
- Making sure you greet your team members at the beginning of the day and wish them farewell at the end of the day are simple courtesies that are often overlooked. Use their name when you address them and apologise when you make mistakes.
- Allow employees to nominate each other for recognition awards. This is an effective way to highlight achievements that may not always be noticeable in a final task or end product.
- Congratulate your employees for their achievements outside of work. For example, if they’ve run a half marathon for charity or their teenager has been awarded a place at university, acknowledge this. It will make them feel more human and appreciated for who they are.
- Take the opportunity to praise your team member(s) face-to-face for their achievements. As Brits, we’re generally not very good at giving or receiving praise, but taking the time to thank them and give positive feedback will make a real difference to how valued they feel.
The above are simple ways to make your team members feel valued and recognised. You could introduce a reward in a more tangible sense, for example an Amazon voucher or bottle of bubbly, but evidence suggests that although this may be welcomed, it will not necessarily make any significant additional difference to motivational levels.
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