Effectively Recognize Employees
Our recent employee engagement survey trends report found that effectively recognizing employees is one of the driving factors that contribute to higher levels of discretionary effort, advocacy, and loyalty. In fact, rewarding employees when they have done outstanding work is crucial to keeping them motivated to do their best. Employees feel valued when they’re recognized, especially when the recognition is personal, meaningful and proportionate. 

Employees Are Different
Remember, each employee is a unique individual.  They come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, and have different preferences around the way they like to be recognized.  Do it the right way and they’ll be motivated to achieve more.  Do it the wrong way and they’ll be less willing to expend discretionary effort the next time.

Some like their recognition to be public; they want to be appreciated by their superior in front of their team.  Others prefer to be recognized in a more private, personal way.  Even if, as a manager, your intent is positive and your praise authentic, your recognition can backfire if you don’t take into account your employee’s individual preferences.

So How Do You  Effectively Recognize Employees?
The simplest way to know if you are effectively recognizing employees is to ask each employee how they like to be recognized.  You need to know things such as if they:

  • Prefer public or private recognition
  • Want to be appreciated more for efficiency, results or positive customer interactions
  • Are more motivated by small praise along the way or only at the conclusion of a project
  • Would rather be recognized for individual or team efforts

Beyond Personal
The next step is to choose a form of recognition that is meaningful and proportionate.  Consider the employee’s personal preferences and then choose a reward that fits the situation.  The options are unlimited – from immediate and open praise to an email thank you; from taking the employee to lunch to planning a team lunch in their honor; from giving opportunities to work on projects that interest them to arranging for time with a top company executive. You are limited only by your imagination.

The Bottom Line
Employees that feel valued personally, meaningfully and proportionately are more likely to work harder, try to improve and grow, and stay with the company.  In addition, the positive vibes influence others.  You not only energize the individual employee, you also set an example of the kind of work the organization values.

To learn more about how to increase employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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