5 Simple ways to make employee recognition part of your workplace

by | Jan 22, 2020 | Articles

Are your employees happy at work? And, what is that happiness worth to you and your company? A lot, according to these statistics: 

  • 76% of employees who don’t feel valued at work are currently seeking other job opportunities. (Yikes!)
  • Productivity is 12% higher when employees are happy.
  • And the main reason why employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated or recognised, according to research from Gallup.

Happier = more engaged

Employees who are regularly recognized aren’t just happier, they’re also more engaged

“Knowing that they are respected as individuals at work can have a significant impact on how employees view their overall lives,” Gallup reports. Not to mention these engaged employees are 21 percent more profitable than their disengaged counterparts. 

Offering regular recognition also saves you money. A new hire costs as much as $3,500 for recruitment and as much as $1,200 and 32 hours per year in ongoing training. 

According to employment happiness expert Alexander Kjerulf, companies are coming to understand just how important employee satisfaction is. 

He writes on his blog: “Happy workplaces are more profitable and innovative, attract the best employees and have lower absenteeism and employee turnover rates. Simply put, happy companies make more money.”

Recognition programs take planning and regular management. So, where can you start? 

5 tips on adding recognition to your company culture

1. Make it a habit.

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better,”
– Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat

The key to creating an environment of recognition is to make it a habit. Take a moment every day or even every week to recognize excellence on your team. 

It can be as simple as highlighting a small achievement or as big as creating a program where employees nominate each other for work done behind the scenes. 

But keep in mind you should create a safe space for recognition, where every employee feels comfortable participating. It’s no secret that sometimes only the loudest people in the room are heard. And they often only recognize the other extroverts. But introverts also make major contributions and should be recognized as well. 

2. Streamline the recognition with technology.

Save time (and headache) by using a platform or software that already exists to help manage your employee recognition program.

There is Kudos, an employee recognition app that will engage and aligns teams with an easy app for peer-to-peer recognition. 

Or the more robust employee recognition software like Award Force, which can manage staff excellence programs with features like streamlined entry and judging tools and custom configurations that align with your brand. 

“Our every day is focused on helping clients identify and recognise excellence because we love what we do and we get to play a part in recognising extraordinary achievements,” said Award Force founder and managing director Richard de Nys.

These tools will help your organisation recognise your employees virtually.

3. Get social

Use Slack or your regular internal communication tool to recognise excellence in the workplace on a social scale.

You could create an “Employee of the Week” post that shows a photo and bio and share it publicly on your social account where that employee can then share across social and their LinkedIn profiles. 

This public recognition provides powerful social currency for your employees, supports a strong employer brand, and offers the public a peek into your healthy company culture. 

4. Encourage participation and feedback

A key to successful employee recognition is cultivating an open and receptive environment, and that means asking for regular feedback.

Consider feedback questions like:

  • How do you want to be recognized? 
  • How often should we recognize success?
  • What should the reward be (if any)? 
  • Should we create a peer-to-peer recognition program?

From the very beginning, your employees will feel like a part of the process and will be more likely to engage throughout the program.

5. Train management to cultivate recognition

To truly create a culture that recognizes achievement you need a management team that wants to recognize achievement. Without management’s buy-in, your program won’t be able to gain the traction it needs to succeed. It’s important to get the C-suite onboard and to brainstorm together on the program.”

For example, you can discuss: 

  • How will the plan work?
  • Will employees be nominated for recognition, will it be based on achievement (i.e. years of service, customer feedback, etc.) or a combination of both?
  • How will you make it achievable by all departments and positions?  
  • Will there be a physical award? A monetary award? 

Starting a program is easier than you think

Recognition programs don’t need financial incentives to be successful. In fact, there are studies that report monetary incentive programs fare worse in terms of participation.  Here’s how to get started now, without any cost.

    • Recognize employees in weekly team meetings. For example, at Award Force, every week’s company-wide meeting starts with “Force Awards,” a quick verbal “good job” to someone on the team for a task well done in the past week.
    • Train and remind managers to provide positive reinforcement and regular feedback to their teams.
    • Create a #woot channel in Slack or your company communication tool that regularly recognizes everyday excellence and encourages peer-to-peer praise. 

An employee recognition program will promote a happy, healthy work culture. And when your employees are happy, your clients will be too. The positivity will shine through your customer service, the commercial teams, and even the product itself.

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