Positive employee recognition is a critical element of retaining top performing employees
Many organizations acknowledge employees in a variety of ways, including their accomplishments, life events, effort, community service, wow customer service, risk taking, new ideas, extended business travel and even failure. And, how employees are recognized goes well beyond the traditional performance review, pay raise, promotion or gifts.
Once in a while it might make sense to step back and take a look at the elements of your organization’s employee recognition efforts. Here are a couple of items that you might want to consider adding to the mix as you assess your staff’s workplace experience.
• Celebrate 11 years — Why do we only seem to celebrate employment anniversaries every five years? Shouldn’t we make a bigger deal out of six years than five and 11 years over 10, and so on and so forth? Each year is a big deal, and it is worth enhanced celebration, especially for your top people who keep hanging out with you.
• Surprise! — Unexpected positive recognition is a great way to wow your employees. The message is loud and clear that you do not take employees for granted. I guarantee that you will make their day.
• Family affair — The families behind your employees are an essential part of your organization. They provide a critical support system for your staff and at times make sacrifices at home when your employees work long hours, travel on business or are working on a particularly challenging project. Don’t forget to acknowledge employees’ families who do so much behind the scenes to support your organization’s success.
• The baggage is full — Everyone has personal “baggage,” even though many organizations in corporate America request that staff leave it at the door. Though many people keep their personal issues under wraps at the workplace, it is there, make no mistake.
The great lesson is to acknowledge that this is reality and recognize that some people have bad days for reasons well outside of work. Appreciate it and support them when you can.
• Have a heart — Employee recognition should be done for all the right reasons. It should not be an obligation or a chore. Giving acknowledgement should be fun and from the heart.
If you can’t genuinely recognize employees, don’t fake it. That’s worse than not acknowledging them at all.
• Daily exercise — A few years ago I asked every one of our employees to make a commitment to making a difference in someone’s life every day. That challenge continues today, and I expect will be with our employees for a long time.
Large or small, daily acts of kindness; acknowledgement and recognition can be game-changers for recipients.
There are a million ways to recognize employees. Just search “employee recognition” on the Internet, and the ideas and approaches appear limitless.
Be creative, have fun and remember that we pay our workforce to show up every day and work hard. They do not owe us, we owe them.
Last but not least, we all know that the best, no-cost and easiest form of recognition is looking someone in the eyes and saying ‘’thank you.” When it comes to the workplace these are two words that can never be said too much.