The Quintessential Value of Employee Recognition


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It’s no secret that the world of work has changed rapidly in the past few years, but there are a few best practices that have stood the test of time. Whether your employees voice it or not, recognition is a simple yet effective way to maintain a positive work culture.

Everyone wants to feel that what they do is important. After hours, days, and eventually years of hard work, we all want to feel as though that time spent has been meaningful.

Employee Recognition: What is it?

While there are many ways to implement it, at its core employee recognition is an open acknowledgment of an employee’s work. It’s important to work somewhere that values individuals.

Just a few things that you can recognize your employees for include:

  • Efforts – Recognizing employee efforts will help reenergize employees, and they will continue this positive work path.
  • Achievements – Once an employee has achieved something major in the workplace, you can let them know their hard work has been noticed. This will reassure them that they are valued at your company.
  • Actions that align with company values – When employees are exhibiting your company’s values in what they do, acknowledging their actions will motivate not only them but other employees to demonstrate these values.

Why Employee Recognition Matters in the Large Scheme of Things

Everyone wants to feel as though they’re contributing to something greater than themselves. Being authentically recognized will help employees feel more of a purpose in their work. The benefits of having formal recognition programs in place are far-reaching.

Retaining great employees should be one of a company’s top priorities. Not only will they consistently deliver high-quality work, but employee retention can save money. Ensuring that employees feel valued is one of the most effective paths to this.

Having a recognition program in place will also help employees to be happier. This will extend far beyond just themselves, and the entire workplace culture will be positive. When employees aren’t recognized for everything they do, their job satisfaction tends to be lower.

A benefit that comes directly from happier employees includes employees who are more present – in more ways than one. They will be more engaged in their work and less likely to call in. So, you can see why having employee recognition at the forefront is so important.

What Type of Recognition Works?

There are various ways you can recognize your employees. You can encourage peers to acknowledge each other and also give out recognition as a higher-up.

Some employees would likely rather be recognized in private, while others may want it at a meeting in front of everyone. It’s good to know your employees’ personalities and give what you believe will be their preferred form of recognition.

While there are variations in how to give recognition, some constants include:

  • Promptness – You’ll want to reinforce that an employee is valued as soon as you spot what they should be recognized for. If you give the recognition weeks or even months after the action they take, it could come off as unauthentic. What they’re being acknowledged for also won’t be as fresh in their mind.
  • Specificity – You should be as specific as possible regarding what an employee is being recognized for. This will help them know exactly which direction to keep going in.
  • Connection to Your Mission – Beyond just the specificity of what an employee has done to go above and beyond their scope of work, it’s important to keep them engaged in the company’s mission. Explain how they bring the company closer to its goals, and most importantly, that they are an integral part of that.

Authentically Recognize Your Employees Today

Recognition can be as small as thanking employees for their hard work at the end of a busy day, or it can be as extravagant as giving out an award at an office party. The most effective programs will incorporate both large and small achievements made by employees to continuously boost employee morale.

Having a formal program in place will boost the spirit of employees, promote a positive work culture, and have many tangible benefits to your business. Make sure to let employees know how happy you are to have them on your team and take another look at your employee recognition practices.

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