Recognizing your employees is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day operations and minutiae that you forget about how much goes into making it all work.
Recognition can help motivate employees, improve productivity, and increase morale. Research shows that recognition can boost staff retention, which could be enough to save your company from having to recruit new talent. There are many employee recognition examples you can use to recognize employees, but there are also some key principles you should keep in mind when deciding on an employee recognition program.
Offer more flexibility
Flexibility is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the workplace, but it’s not always clear what it means. Flexibility doesn’t mean “working from home” or taking an occasional day off to do something fun—it means being able to work within (and occasionally outside) the traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
Flexibility can help your employees balance their work and personal lives, which is especially important among millennials who are more likely than ever before to experience burnout due to unrealistic expectations about work and life balance. It also makes for happier employees who stay with you for longer periods, meaning greater efficiency over the long term.
Make recognition public
It’s tempting to keep employee recognition a secret, but when you make it public, everyone can see what kind of culture you’re building and how effectively you’re recognizing people’s efforts. If someone does something that goes above and beyond, let them know in front of their peers—this gives them confidence and encourages others to follow their lead. And don’t do this for only the top performers—recognize everyone who does great work.
One way to destroy an otherwise productive culture is by making employee recognition into an everyday habit or routine activity that no one takes seriously anymore. This can happen if you have set times each week or month when certain employees are recognized.
Change it up
Recognition is a great way to show your employees that you appreciate them, but it’s also important to change things up every so often. If you give out the same awards for years on end, it can feel boring for everyone involved.
To keep the excitement and energy high, try changing up the rewards every few months. For example, if you usually award employees with gift cards or cash bonuses after they’ve excelled at something in particular (like hitting their sales targets), consider alternating these rewards with other items that are less expected—such as tickets to events or free lunches.
Encourage their passions
One of the most effective ways to motivate and reward employees is by encouraging them to pursue their passions. This can be done in many ways, from allowing them to work on projects that interest them and giving time off for extracurricular activities to providing equipment and resources for their passions.
One way to reward your employees is by giving them opportunities for mentorship with new hires. This will allow older employees who may have been with your company for years to pass down their knowledge, as well as help newer employees learn more about the industry they’ve chosen or the type of work they want to do within it.
Keep it simple, but specific
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to employee recognition is that it should be simple. The last thing you want is for your employees to feel like they are being micromanaged by their boss, especially if they have never worked in a company that values recognition. To get this right, it’s important to keep things short and sweet. You don’t want them feeling like they’re being watched or judged all day long.
Instead, try finding ways that you can pay attention without making it seem like you are constantly watching them. By providing brief recognition and acknowledgment every day or week (depending on the length of time between meetings), you can show your employees that you appreciate their hard work without making them feel overwhelmed by constant feedback—which will only make them less likely to respond positively instead of more.
All can agree that employee recognition is important, but it’s not always easy to find the time to do it. With these five approaches, though, you can make your company more fun and friendly for everyone involved—and hopefully boost morale in the process.