Why is employee appreciation important? Studies have shown that employees will work harder and enjoy work more when their efforts are recognized. Having that good relationship can really make a difference in your company as well – employee recognition impacts the entire organization.
That being said, in today’s tough work environment, employee recognition isn’t just a sincere gesture, it is almost necessary. Oftentimes we find that different recognitions can seem insincere and those once a year ‘pat-on-the-backs’ or shout outs just don’t cut it anymore. That’s why we’ve talked with nine professionals about different recognition ideas for your company that your employees will love.
A truly robust employee recognition program should be multidimensional. It should celebrate employees not just on important dates like their birthdays and anniversaries, but also day-to-day when even the smallest victory comes through. It is also important to utilize both formal and informal recognition methods to ensure that it comes across as authentic and from the heart.
Kristy Bach, BestCompaniesAZ
Recognition Company Meetings
We do recognition at every all-hands meeting, and celebrate the end of each week with the entire company giving praise to one another. Doing this in the open, and celebrating with everyone in the company makes every recognition really special, and you just see the people receiving the praise light up with excitement.
Zack McCarty, Qwick
Survey your Employees
Survey your employees to uncover what they really want! So many HR pros schedule a party or picnic because that’s what the folks in HR really enjoy. But a good 25% of your employees are probably introverts who would rather have a root canal. They would be much happier with a day off or a coupon for a free pizza.
Joni Holderman, Thrive! Resumes
Consider what types of recognition your employees actually want. What projects have they been working hard on for weeks with little credit? Do they have a birthday coming up? General all-employee recognition loses meaning if someone cannot feel personally appreciated. My advice is to personalize recognition instead of having “Employee of the Month” type of awards or staff parties. Really take the time to show your employee that you see their value.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Have Your Staff Pick Employee of the Month
One recognition idea I have is to have the staff pick the employee of the month rather than managers. There are a couple of reasons why this method of recognition is more valuable than the traditional. First, it discourages employees from stealing each others’ ideas and fostering a culture of competition. Second, the recognition is more meaningful when it comes from the people you work alongside every day.
Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Give Employees Their Birthday Off
At Markitors, every employee is allowed to take their birthday off from work as part of our unlimited vacation policy. Doing this enforces one of our core values: You Are Unique. We believe that every one of our employees has uniqueness that should be celebrated. Allowing employees to take their birthday off makes them feel special and appreciated. This is a simple gesture that gives employees the recognition they deserve and rewards them for their hard work.
Kayla Centeno, Markitors
Set Aside Time to Recognize Staff
Employee recognition programs can be both valuable and difficult. Everybody loves to be recognized for a job well done, but you don’t want the recognition itself as the driving motivator. Taking the time to speak with employees about specific areas in which they have exceeded expectations is the method I employ. I will take the time to personally speak to the employee to address the specific areas in which they have excelled. I will always let them know how valuable they are to the team and thank them for making our practice a family.
Michael Herion, Carrot Eye Center
High-Five Instant Recognition
High-Five recognition is rewarding those that make a difference. It could be going above and beyond for our clients, or doing something that matters for the experience and success of our colleagues and communities. This feature is available instantly to recognize a colleague who went above and beyond and supported our priorities in an outstanding way in a project, initiative or company event. Once published, the message will appear on the homepage of the company’s intranet site and in an automated email — to the nominee and their manager.
Kristina DiMartino, Voya Financial
One size doesn’t fit all! A reward to one employee may be embarrassing to another, so be sure you know your employees well enough to know what would be the most meaningful recognition for them! A recognition committee consisting of employees from different areas/perspectives can provide relevant input.
Colleen McManus, Senior Consultant