One of the biggest mistakes an employer can make in dealing with employees is to expect that a paycheck is a sufficient form of employee recognition. A paycheck is expected—required, actually—from an employer. But when a person has invested their time and their passion into what your company is trying to achieve—your goals, your mission, your vision—he/she wants to know that it’s appreciated, not assumed.
Drawing attention, loudly and clearly, to the hard work and dedication of staff members can work wonders for your business, specifically by emphasizing that you are all part of a team. And a team appreciates when an individual or group does outstanding work that benefits everyone. There are other places a person can get a paycheck, but by letting an employee know that they are playing a crucial role in what the company is trying to achieve, you find that employee retention becomes much easier as your entire workplace is happier.
4 ways to recognize employee achievement
Some of the most common, yet effective, employee recognition approaches are as follows:
Thanks/Praise — The easiest way to let an employee know that they are appreciated is by using your words. A “pat on the back,” so to say, develops a stronger employer/employee relationship and serves as a reminder that management is made up of real people that actually care.
Awards — Presenting an award to recognize professional achievement accomplishes several things when done correctly. One, it serves as a permanent “thank you” that an employee can put on their desk or in their home. Two, a trophy or award can seem more official and authentic than simply acknowledging with words. Three, presenting a recurring award (e.g. Employee of the Month) can inspire friendly competition in the workplace, which is almost always a positive.
Inclusion in Decision Making — Something as simple as asking for the input of an employee with regards to a decision usually left to management gives an employee a strong sense of belonging. For an employee, knowing that your opinion is valued significantly cuts down on any feelings of mundanity in the day-to-day work and keeps the mind thinking about where the company, as a whole, is headed. The next few times input is asked for, you can bet an employee will have continually more thoughtful responses.
Career Development — Similarly to asking for input, making available opportunities for career development and encouraging current employees to apply for these positions serves as a reminder that management is keeping an eye on those showing potential, and that continued great performance leads to an individual’s career progressing in your company.
Shaping better workplaces and better employees
A job well done always deserves acknowledgment. However, it need not always come in the form of a bigger paycheck. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple human interaction to make employees aware of how critical their role is to your team, and this awareness usually always leads to happier, harder working, and more valuable employees.