Everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work. Many believe that recognition gives employees incentive to stay loyal to their organizations, and promotes the employees’ continued hard work. Despite this common thought, however, a 2016 Gallup report highlighted that in the United States, only “one in three workers strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.” In this issue of Astronology®, we explore low-cost ways of engaging and rewarding employees with the goal of demonstrating that their dedication & hard work are appreciated.
Two Ways to Communicate Recognition
Informal recognition can be of a spontaneous nature, such as noticing a desired behavior and commending the employee for it. Sending a positive e-mail when tasks are taken care of well beyond expectations is another example of spontaneous recognition.
Another type of employee recognition is formal recognition. Formal recognition is helpful for those managers and supervisors who experience difficulty in making employee recognition a priority. It’s easy to get caught up with day to day activities, and before you know it, a whole year can go by without formal acknowledgement of employee appreciation. Setting aside a certain month out of the year to celebrate employees or instituting an employee of the month program are examples of formal employee recognition programs that do not involve major time commitments. An additional tool you most likely already have available to help in this regard is an efficient performance management system. Such a system can keep track of employee progress & goals, and aid in rewarding employees when it is appropriate.
Low Cost Ways of Saying Thanks!
Keeping in mind your own organization’s culture, perhaps some of the following suggestions could be a start in incorporating regular employee recognition:
- Provide a “Behind the Scenes” award for actions not normally highlighted
- Give an “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” (or ABCD) Award for employees who convey this attitude
- Create a “Kudos” column in the department newsletter
- Hold a department break in the employee’s honor. Don’t forget to include light snacks!
- Keep a supply of appropriately clever “thank you” notes for immediate rewards
- Award tickets to a sports game
- Share gift certificates / cards, such as
- Distribute unique coupons to demonstrate thanks, such as a
- Longer Lunch Coupon
- Shorter Work Day Coupon
- Work from Home Day Coupon
- Swap a Task for a Day Coupon
The point of employee recognition is to make the employee feel valued by the organization where he / she spends most of the day’s waking hours! When employers take time to acknowledge their employees’ hard work and attentiveness, they give employees esteem motivation to continue their good work. Consider employee recognition as part of creating a cohesive, happy organization. Such an organization will have greater success in achieving its objectives. No matter your organization’s budget or culture, spend some time giving employee recognition to those who deserve it.