The key to an effective workforce is through appreciation. This can be done through both formal and informal acknowledgment of a person or team. Appreciation makes employees feel valued and validates their work as well. Such validation increases productivity, motivation, and overall satisfaction.
Basically, if you want happy employees who love to come to work, and keep coming to work, praise and recognition are essential. After all, the need for a pat on the back is universal. Now, this does not have to be an arduous task. In fact, showing appreciation can literally be a pat on the back. However, creating different levels to the appreciation you give can also have great benefits as well.
Employee turnover is a hidden cost most do not ever think about until it rears its ugly head. Most of the cost is wrapped up in training a new hire to take the departing employee’s place. Appreciation, however, encourages employees to stay. This is one advantage to praise and recognition.
Another advantage is increased productivity. The appreciation that comes with incentive breeds productivity. Employees will work harder and business will boom. Competition is also a part of human nature, and if certain rewards are offered for above level work, more employees will strive to produce above level work.
Loyalty is also an advantage of recognition. Free food, employee outings, bonuses, and company barbecues are all things that make a worker feel valued. A company that establishes this value also gains loyalty from its workforce. It also garners a positive reputation. Your company will be known for the way it treats its workforce and more people will want to work for you.
Employee of the month plaques, special parking spaces, gift cards, and acrylic awards are all great examples of physical praise. Not only do they effectively communicate an employee’s good work, but they mark that good work as an accolade. Acrylic awards, in general, are great ways to validate above and beyond performance. They can be custom made for any topic, and serve as a record that employees can display in their quarters.
Gift cards are another great physical reward to give out as they represent a prize. Prizes are a great way to incentivize a workforce and provide a great feeling of achievement when won. Accolades given to a position like employee of the month are also valuable as they keep on giving. A specially assigned parking space, for instance, is something the employee will enjoy for at least a month.
Proper Channels of Recognition
A good business has two types of recognition. The type that is freely given for good work. This can be done with a head nod, back slap, or a shout out on an email thread. Then there is the incentivized type. This type of recognition is for employees who demonstrate the company’s overall goals. They go above and beyond and really produce exemplary work. This type of recognition is not freely given but rather earned. Not every employee will receive it which will set it apart. Using both types is important because the first type makes employees feel good and the second makes them feel accomplished.
These two channels of praise are uniquely different. Simple praise is given in bulk while incentive praise is used sparingly. The way they are communicated is also different. You want to find opportunities to give simple praise. As a CEO or manager, always be on the lookout for good work and never shy away from bringing attention to that work. Incentive praise follows specific guidelines. Usually, it revolves around a quota or task and can be tracked. Many companies establish a complete rubric for incentive praise or policy. New employees are actually introduced to the incentive in training. The main reason for this is because both types of praise need to be properly communicated.
Communication is integral to giving praise and recognition. Appreciation does not work if an employee does not know why they are getting singled out. This is why you need to ensure that a worker fully understands they are receiving praise. Make sure you communicate fully why you are singling them out. Acknowledge the good work publicly and ensure that everyone listening understands where the praise is coming from. Managers should be coached in the proper ways to distribute praise so they can always attach it to a core principle or your company’s work ethic. Another thing to remember is that praise should not just be verbal, it also needs to be physical.
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