20 ideas to increase work recognition
Compensation is of the essence to attract the best candidates; however, it is not what will make them remain in the company. In most cases, they can obtain the same benefits with your competitor. You must instead mobilize employees – and this requires, among other things, trust, honesty, and employee recognition.
A worldwide study on over 200,000 employees carried out by the Boston Consulting Group reports that the most important part of their work is to feel appreciated:
83% of employees say that work recognition is more fulfilling than rewards or gifts.
Here are 20 creative ideas to improve your workplace recognition program.
Before the meeting, ask other senior colleagues to provide names of employees who have stood out in the past week. You will then have a better overview of everyone’s efforts (i.e., removing your bias as you may be more familiar with certain employees’ work).
- What is their passion? Find out what motivates them in their personal life and get to know them better.
- What is their dream travel destination? What sports do they like?
- Do they like the projects you give them?
- Are there any team members with whom they prefer to work?
- What are their career ambitions? How can you help them achieve their career goals?
It is best to go out to lunch to be away from the rest of the team. If this is not possible, meet in a quieter part of the cafeteria, during a less busy time.
This valuable time develops a personal bond between managers and employees. You demonstrate that the employee is an essential team member and is important to you. These bonds promote mutual support and performance.
A study reported by HBR demonstrates the importance of increasing the ratio of positive to constructive feedback to boost team performance.
The highest-performing teams give five times more positive feedback than constructive or negative feedback. By comparison, the lowest-performing teams provide almost three constructive or negative reviews for every positive feedback.
For example, when you receive two different proposals, say “I love proposal 2!” rather than “I don’t like the first idea as much, but I like the second.” This makes them want to be creative.
Keep in mind the two golden rules for offering recognition at work:
Avoid generic feedbacks, such as “Great job!” Clearly explain what the employee did, so they know what behavior to repeat in the future. For example: “I listened to the last customer service call, and you handled the customer’s complaint very well. The options you offered the customer have little impact on the product’s profitability, and the situation was resolved in less than 8 minutes.” This is very positive feedback and indicates the behavior to be replicated.
The Right Time
Do not delay in providing feedback. You may forget details, and the employee’s recognition may be less specific, thus less likely to reinforce the desired behavior. If you do not have time for a face-to-face discussion, send an appreciation email (clear and detailed). Offer your feedback as close to the time of the event as possible.
Think donuts, coffee at the local diner, pizza, freshly squeezed juice…
For example, ask: “What year was ACME founded?” Or ask questions to bring back fond memories, such as: “Coming back from the 2017 Convention at the Convention Center, who from the finance department got on the wrong bus, fell asleep on it, and woke up at the Laval terminal instead of Chambly?” It’s a great way to introduce new employees to the team and create new bonds between employees.
Encourage your employees to recognize a colleague’s achievements when they help them or are impressed by the quality of their work. Too many people still believe that recognition in the workplace must come from the manager. Of course, it is essential, but colleagues are also crucial in employee recognition.
Consider, for example, introverted employees who do little work with their immediate manager. Their excellent work goes unnoticed, yet they are an essential asset to your company.
Hence, it is essential to recognize the contribution of colleagues through a peer recognition program to give the employees more visibility and more recognition for their contribution to the company.
Ideas for Encouraging Peer Recognition
Keep track of the number of monthly recognitions sent per employee, and hold a random draw (for example, a dinner out for two colleagues at the company’s expense). 1 recognition offered = 1 entry.
Create a meaningful message of appreciation for this day and show employees that you are grateful. For example, the TD Insurance Company organizes “Employee Week.” Each year, several activities are offered during the week to spend quality time with colleagues and build team spirit. Some activities last only an hour (indoor mini-pot or potluck), while others last an afternoon (escape room or bowling alley).
Use the turnover cost calculator to find out what it really costs when an employee quits your company.
Find out 12 alternatives to promotion for a rewarding employee career progression within your organization.
A kind message that is not work-related can go a long way. Here are 25 good reasons why a colleague should be recognized.