Managers and human resource professionals know that one way of improving office morale and ensuring employee retention is by showing employees that they are appreciated. The difficult piece is giving employees effective recognition. Often, employee appreciation is lumped into a few days of the year. Maybe HR provides cake for the office to show employees that they care; other times, recognition isn’t given until performance reviews come around, at which point the recognition is mandatory and possibly less authentic. Here are 5 ideas for giving your employees genuine recognition that will encourage and motivate them in their jobs.
- Greater compensation: There are no two ways about this. Employees respond to a raise in their salary. Giving an employee a raise is an excellent way of showing them that they are valuable to your company.
- Public recognition: While no manager should play favorites, you can seriously boost the morale of your employees by recognizing them in front of their colleagues or other managers. The fear is that this will make other employees disgruntled. However, an employee concerned with their own performance and development should make note of the recognition and reassess their own job for ways they can attain it. If your employees approach recognition this way, hopefully your recognition of one will improve the efficiency and performance of many.
- A thank you note: While it may seem like a small gesture, giving an employee a hand-written note shows that you took time out of your busy schedule to offer them thanks. What could easily have been captured in a short email you’ve now displayed to your employee in long-hand form, which takes more time, energy, and thought.
- Take time to understand: This tip for recognition may at first seem odd. There’s no verbal, written, or compensation-based recognition here, but this tip will help to drive your future recognition. In a one-on-one situation, take a few moments to really understand the nuts and bolts of a regular task or project which your employees undertake. Even though you most likely assigned the task, understanding the finer points of the project, along with its rewards and frustrations, is crucial to recognizing them in a meaningful way.
- Give credit where credit is due: Be on the lookout for the opportunity to recognize your employees in any way. If they have a particularly good idea to invent a new process or create efficiency, recognize them at the time of that action. Similarly, if something they have done helps you, such as preparing a presentation for a client or simply making copies, be specific about the ways in which you thank them. Instead of simply offering thanks, tell them that their contribution will make your meeting go more smoothly, or comment that their assistance gave you the time to give needed attention to a client or other task.
Recognition is often an elephant in the office space that no manager prefers to poke. However, research shows that employees will respond favorably to recognition simply by staying with their current employer. You’ll find that employees that have been genuinely recognized will show their gratitude in their work and in their attitudes, which will benefit your team and the company as a whole.
What are some ways you show your employees you appreciate them? Have you tried any of the methods we discussed? Share your thoughts and success stories in the comments!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Patrick Hoesly