A survey by World at Work reported that 88% of organizations have a staff recognition program in place, which could range from Employee of the Month programs to small perks, such as bonuses or gift cards. However, these more traditional methods of staff appreciation are seen as inauthentic and somewhat boring.
When conducted correctly, employee recognition activities and programs can boost productivity, increase employee morale and collaboration, and help you retain top talent.
Why Is Employee Recognition Important?
Recognizing employees’ wants and needs and aligning them with company values are essential to a successful employee recognition program. Your organization’s bottom line will benefit as a result. Employee recognition affects more than just employees-it affects the whole organization.
One certificate per year is no longer enough. What does a successful employee appreciation program look like? There are many different types of companies. Different companies have different needs. Generally speaking, recognition programs should be comprehensive and feedback should be authentic, relevant, and specific.
Types of Employee Recognition
There are several ways to recognize and show appreciation for employees. Let’s take a look at three key types of recognition, all of which serve different purposes:
Micro Recognition is more frequent and ongoing than day-to-day recognition. If you would like to recognize your employees fairly quickly and quite easily, you can send notes, give cards, or post on bulletin boards.
Informal recognition is given to individuals or teams for progress toward milestones, when they achieve goals, or when they complete projects. A spontaneous memento presented at a low cost may take the form of a pizza party, potluck, or a trip to the pub for happy hour.
There aren’t always opportunities for informal recognition. Informal recognition isn’t as structured as formal recognition.
Lastly, formal recognition is more structured. A ceremony or special event is usually held along with the nomination and selection process. There are fewer formal recognition programs, and they usually require a larger budget and more planning.
Regardless of what type of recognition you are using – or if you are using all three – it needs to be meaningful to your employees.
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Employee Recognition Best Practices
Meaningful recognition comes first and foremost in a timely manner. Don’t wait until an employee’s annual performance review to recognize him or her. By giving them recognition on a regular basis, you will keep them motivated and engaged. Thus, you become a part of their culture.
Thank your employees and let them know how their actions impacted you and the organization. By being specific, you encourage repeat behaviors, set clear expectations, and promote company values.
It is also important to remember that recognition can take many forms. The use of different forms of recognition keeps things fresh and fun, and it also reaches different groups of employees. Employees may be less enthusiastic about public recognition in company meetings but save every note or card they receive.
To avoid common pitfalls, make sure your recognition program supports your company’s mission, values, and needs.