Tips for Effective Employee Recognition

An employee rewards and recognition system is a way of showing support to your workforce so that they come to know that their contributions to the company are appreciated and recognised. It adds great value to the work environment, boosts positivity,  and enhances overall productivity of the organisation.

In a research activity on employee engagement, employees were asked, “What is the most significant thing that your organisation or manager currently does which motivates you to enhance your performance?”

Every employee came up with a different answer. But approximately 38% of them said that personal rewards and recognition contributed the most in encouraging them to perform higher at work.

Employee rewards and recognition add great value to the work environment. They not only bring in positivity to the workplace but also enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of the organisation. After all, an employee that feels connected to the company will go above and beyond their call of duty to deliver better performance. So, let us check out how employers can create a culture of reward and recognition at the workplace.

What are employee rewards and recognition?

An employee reward and recognition system is a way of showing support to your workforce so that they come to know that their contributions to the company are appreciated and recognised. Everybody wants to understand where they stand on the performance scale, and employees are no exception. By recognising their efforts, you demonstrate how their hard work plays a role in the outstanding success of the company. Employers mostly recognise their employees who exceed expectations in desired behaviours, service or tenure, or for their accomplishments.

Importance of employee rewards and recognition

Since an early age, recognition plays a significant role in our lives. We crave for validation from our friends, teachers and parents. The desire to get recognised is so strong during the developmental periods of our lives that we tend to perceive even neutral responses as negative. The same desire stays with us as we gradually move to the work environment. The need for recognition is coded in every employee everywhere. Thus, employers should give due importance to employee rewards and recognition activities.

At work, employee rewards and recognition plays a vital role in the development of the company. A comprehensive employee recognition program helps to:

  • Increase engagement among employees: If the employees are rewarded and appreciated for their work, they will feel more engaged and involved with the duties of the company.
  • Retain the best talent: If your best employees are rewarded and recognised for their hard work, they will stay satisfied in their workplace, which results in a long term association with the company.
  • Encourage higher performance: When you reward and recognise the hard work of your employees, it motivates them to perform even better than usual. This boosts the overall performance of the employee, which eventually results in better growth for the company.

How to start an employee recognition program?

There doesn’t exist a universal, set system to bring about employee recognition, as every company has its employee recognition criteria. There are several employee recognition program examples implemented by various organisations that one can refer to. From these examples, we bring to you five proven employee recognition ideas that an employer can use to motivate their workforce:

  • Be relevant, be specific

The best rewards and recognition are the ones that are specific and linked to a business objective. This type of approach creates value and generates interest in the recognition process. Thus, you will find more employees actively participating in the process. It is a way of creating a healthy competition among the employees and rewarding the best performer. This way, you will not just boost the performance of your employees, but your recognition process will also become more relevant to the employees.

When employee recognition is related to employee behaviour, it encourages even stronger performance from employees. Plus, the employees feel noticed and accepted by the organisation, which boosts their level of engagement with the company.

  • Recognition can come in different forms

Rewards and recognition are not just about loading your employees with cash. Research has indicated that people need much more than mere monetary benefits to feel motivated and perform better. Further, every employee has their style and preference for receiving and giving appreciation.

So, employers should find the right balance between cash rewards and genuine appreciation for the efforts and hard work of their employees. Determine what motivates your employees to give higher performance. Is it monetary compensation or admiration in front of the team?

The desire to seek affirmation from their coworkers runs deeper than cash rewards. And maybe, by adding this simple concept of top management appreciating high performers in front of their coworkers can radically change the mood of your employees and motivate them to enhance their contributions. You can also be trendy and opt for customised gifts or personalised rewards apart from cash and bonuses to motivate your employees.

  • Be prompt

Strike when it is hot is the idiom that summarises employee recognition. Employers and managers should be prompt with their recognition of employee performance. Any recognition that comes months after the actual achievement is not at all meaningful.

In fact, the longer the managers take to reward the performance of their employees, the lesser the likelihood that employees will see these affirmations as genuine and authentic. Employee recognition should not just be a priority; it should also be applied effectively. The more prompt the employers are with recognising, the better the employees will feel about their achievements.

  • Don’t overlook the little victories

Of course, you should highlight the significant achievements of your employees. However, everyday acts of gratitude are also equally effective in motivating employees to perform better.

Handwritten personal notes or a personal appreciation email to your employees for their work ethic may seem small in worth but add great value to the employee recognition efforts. These small everyday little things go a long way in building a connection with your employees and motivating them to boost their efficiency and productivity. Not just managers, even peers can engage in such little recognition and appreciation activities.

  • Focus on the larger picture

Recognition is a way to display to your employees that they add value to your company and that they have contributed immensely to the outstanding success of the team as well as the overall business.

Employers should focus on this larger picture and show their employees how their contribution has led to the overall growth and prosperity of the company. This builds a connection with the company, which is especially helpful when the organisation plans to expand. This sense of engagement helps the employees stay motivated even when there is a change in the team and management.

These employee recognition tips will certainly help you elevate the performance of your employees. At the end of the day, employees should feel valued at work. Not only does it help them take pride in their work, but it also boosts the overall growth and productivity of the business.

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Shalini L
Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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