Best Practices for Employee Recognition

Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Goerner on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 10:00:00 am

Best Practices for Employee Recognition

In a Socialcast report, 69% of employees said they’d work harder if they got more of it.

58% of respondents to a Psychometrics survey said getting more would increase their engagement.

A Bersin & Associates study found companies who do it best enjoy 31% less turnover than their competitors.

“It” is employee recognition. When you’re purposeful about seeing and valuing your team’s accomplishments, you enjoy lots of benefits – including motivating them to do more of the work you celebrate.

Rewards don’t have to be tangible. Sure, money is usually #1 when we list motivational tools. But research says a close #2 is simply “Verbal praise from my supervisor.”  Here’s some tips to get the most impact from informal recognition.

1-Be precise.

If you thank someone for “doing a good job” or “working hard”, they may nod and smile – but they might not be able to identify the specific behaviors you value. Instead, praise people for particular contributions. Rather than saying Jodi “always keeps us organized,” point to the spreadsheet she created that saved the team time. Instead of noting that Rob “is great with our customers,” share real feedback from a client. With compliments, more specific = more memorable.

2-Be timely.

If you wait more than a week to give recognition, people may have already forgotten what they did. One of my clients sends an email to her team every Monday. In addition to outlining goals for the upcoming week, she includes a special “Shout Out” section thanking people for extra effort or special accomplishments in the previous week. She doesn’t include this in every message – “Shout Outs” are special, and her team reads them as such.

3-Be consistent.

Be sure you know what kind of work/activity/accomplishment is praise-worthy. You don’t want to reward people simply for doing their jobs –recognition needs to be earned. But you should have a clear description of the effort or impact you want others to strive for. When you give recognition, explain why. If others want your praise, they should be clear on how to get it.

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