Having an enjoyable work environment is essential for the success of any company. Happy employees are the key to reaching your company’s goals, whether that is getting more leads with your email marketing campaigns or boosting revenue. Therefore, employee recognition needs to be a key tool in your management strategy. If you are not yet implementing a recognition program, keep on reading for a comprehensive guide on how to recognize employees for great work.
According to a Psychometrics study exploring employee engagement in the Canadian workplace, 58% of respondents said that recognition would encourage them to be more involved at their job. Another research project led by Achievers shows that 31% of employees are more likely to switch jobs because they did not receive enough recognition in the workplace.
Therefore, there is a clear connection between shown appreciation and employee retention. An engaging and well-thought-out employee recognition program can result in other benefits such as increased performance and encouraging self-improvement.
The good news for CEOs and entrepreneurs is that employees value being appreciated and recognized more than monetary rewards. Simple yet creative recognition ideas can go a long way. Let’s take a look at a few useful ideas to help you shed light on your employee’s achievements and improve the manager-employee relationship long-term.
Top 5 Employee Recognition Ideas
#1 Acknowledge great work publicly
Everyone wants to know that they are good at their job, and a public shout-out from their manager or CEO will help boost the employees’ confidence and appreciation. Simply make time to thank hard-working individuals for their contribution to your business goals.
We recommend providing details about why that employee receives praise so that your whole personnel knows what achievements you value. Not only that, but the person you are commending will see that you have been paying attention to their work and feel acknowledged. You can do this either at the end of a weekly meeting, on the company group chat, or even via an email update.
#2 Leave a post-it note on their desk
It is important to recognize different types of achievements, even if they do not directly impact your sales or profit. For a smaller accomplishment like a thorough competitive research report or a good idea in the brainstorming meeting, you can leave a post-it note showing your gratitude.
A short message like “Good job on that task” or “Thank you for your help” is enough to put a smile on your employee’s face. A handwritten letter or a simple verbal message can work just as well to create a good relationship with your team.
#3 Provide bonuses and non-financial rewards
If you notice that a particular individual helped you avoid a costly purchase or handed in their work much earlier than expected, you can have gift cards on hand to give right on the spot. Seeing immediate results for their hard work helps tremendously with employee satisfaction.
You can put together a more structured rewards program with monetary bonuses that all personnel will have access to. You can personalize the goals based on departments so that everyone knows what to do if they want some extra perks in the workplace.
Just make sure to implement a varied employee recognition strategy so that a larger number of employees receive praise for their work. Let’s take a look at Heineken’s new and improved plan to include more people in their rewards program. They observed that an average of around a hundred people received rewards for their good work, which was a problem considering that they have over 2,000 employees.
In order to correct this issue, they rebranded their program as the “BREWards,” including tasks at multiple difficulty levels and a variety of incentives. Today, more employees are interacting with the recognition program and can work for an award that fits their needs best. After all, we are all unique and enjoy different types of rewards.
#4 Organize informal events in the office
A big part of enjoying your work environment is having time for fun. Showing your employees that you value quality time together outside of work responsibilities will definitely make a difference. You can get creative with this idea, from taking everyone out for drinks to creating themed parties at the office.
The idea is that everyone will have an opportunity to have a good time, not necessarily tied to an achievement. Encouraging everyone to go above and beyond is great, but this can result in a stressful environment if you are not careful. Taking that into consideration, it is clear that managers need to reserve time for casual fun and bonding with employees.
Keep track of each of your employee’s work anniversaries and make it a point to celebrate it in some way. An example is to bring a cake to work and set aside a 15-minute break to commemorate the occasion.
Some companies, such as Yorkshire Building Society, opt to create a personalized yearbook for each employee. This can be the extra touch needed to impress your team and make them excited for their own anniversary.
#5 Support their career growth
Employee recognition boils down to showing your staff that you care. Another great way that you can do that is by supporting their desire to grow professionally. Mention in your weekly or monthly meetings that you will cover expenses if anyone needs to enroll in a course that can help their work. You will be surprised how many of your employees will take this opportunity and, consequently, improve their work because of it.
If you have an “Employee of the Month” program, you can award the winner with financial aid in a personal interest as well. Some examples would be learning a new language, supporting a charity, or even traveling. This does not need to be a huge bonus, but a good enough incentive for your employees to focus on delivering good work.
Employee recognition can take many forms, but the intention is what matters for your employees. Make sure that you focus on their personal needs and preferences. You will find that people are drawn to different rewards, from peer-to-peer recognition to one-on-one lunches with the CEO. We encourage you to experiment with your methods and create a program aligned with your business identity.