Recognizing employees for their accomplishments is something that every business instinctively knows they should be doing, but very few make employee recognition a fundamental part of their business structure.
Employee recognition should be as crucial to your business model as sales numbers and excellent customer service, because effective employee recognition is what fosters loyalty, productivity, and happiness amongst employees. It helps ensure that your top performers stick with you and your mid-level performers strive to be better, raising your whole company up another level.
The first thing to recognize when creating a performance-based recognition program is that rewarding employees is not the same thing as recognizing them. Rewards programs can be an appropriate tool in commission-based offices where better work is literally rewarded by more stuff. But in a typical office environment where employees earn a regular salary, rewards don’t carry nearly the same weight that recognition does.
So how can you recognize your employees on a regular basis in your business? Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.
- Recognition amongst peers
When the boss takes the time to call out a particular employee’s good work to their peers, that recognition can be extremely gratifying. Such recognition can be as simple as sending out an email to the team that highlights an employee’s recent accomplishments, or it can be a dedicated party celebrating a team’s successes in a communal way that holds up one group but also shows that the success is felt throughout the company.
We know that we just said the rewards are not the same thing as recognition. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use rewards as a means of recognition. A day off for beating a deadline or an end of the year bonus can be a great way to recognize accomplishments when those rewards are paired with the sincere gratitude of the person who is giving them.
When an employee does a particularly great job, the best way to reward their efforts is with a promotion. That might mean moving into a new position, taking on more responsibilities, or simply a boost in pay to show that you recognize and appreciate the value that the employee brings to your business.
Employees who believe that their efforts will lead to a better career are much more likely to be engaged and dedicated to their work. Encourage that kind of engagement and show your team that their efforts will pay off, both for their own careers and the success of the company.