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10 powerful ways to improve your employee recognition

According to Gallup, 65 percent of surveyed employees reported that they received no recognition over the last 12 months for their work. In the same report, 89 percent of employers feel that most employees leave their companies to earn more money. But, most workers who leave their jobs cite lack of employee recognition as a major concern.

HR departments, which are challenged to recruit and retain the best people, are the prime movers for implementing an honest and thoughtful employee recognition culture that motivates and rewards employees in a way that extends far beyond material incentives.

Best Practice For Employee Recognition Culture

Your employees are your company’s most valuable resource, but many organisations still struggle to retain top talent. Some of the best practices for recognising employees include:

  • Establishing solid criteria for work performance
  • Recognising people from all areas of operations
  • Fostering a recognition culture where informal feedback is frequently offered
  • Aligning performance benchmarks with the company’s goals, culture and succession strategy
  • Providing opportunities for advanced training and career development as part of staff recognition

The following 10 specific recognition culture strategies are effective ways to recognise and reward your employees:

1. Make it personal

It’s critical to be specific, personal and accurate. Use positive words, and demonstrate to the employee that you actually understand their accomplishments.

2. Provide opportunities

Some workers don’t get the chance to excel because of the nature of their jobs or reduced expectations for certain types of work. Employees who do their jobs well should be able to earn opportunities for expanded responsibilities and training for job advancement.

3. Magnify recognition

While verbal communication is clearly the most effective way to recognise employees, the best strategy is to back it up by publicising employee accomplishments across multiple forums such as company newsletters, dashboards and in team meetings.

4. Offer beyond-the-call-of-duty perks

Employees who consistently perform at the highest levels might earn special privileges. These might include such things as a better parking space or paid time off

5. Motivate with financial incentives

Although financial incentives aren’t always the best motivators, they can certainly demonstrate appreciation for work well-performed. The best financial incentives are more open-ended and unpredictable because they motivate people to work their best at all times.

6. Give holiday rewards and bonuses

The best practices for awarding holiday bonuses include offering a standard bonus or gift package and rewarding people for outstanding performance with special awards, extra cash bonuses, holiday gifts or recognition for yearly performance.

7. Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition

Employees often prefer recognition from their peers than acknowledgement at the office, so many companies implement peer-to-peer recognition programs to engage millennials and the new generation of flexible workers.

8. Recognise people’s passions

Workers love to be recognised for their outside activities, hobbies and passions because it prevents people from feeling as if they’re just cogs in the business machine. Passions can also work as rewards in their own right.

9. Embrace gamification

Gamification strategies can be used in various ways to reward and motivate your employees to reach higher performance standards. A rotating trophy or plaque can generate enthusiasm that’s exceeds the investment. Of course, the more impressive the trophy, the more likely it will generate friendly competition.

10. Use technology and social media to publicise accomplishments

People don’t live in a vacuum in today’s environment of instant communications, so it’s important to publicise important accomplishments and even human interest items in the company’s social media forums.

Employee recognition and positive motivation are powerful tools for getting the best out of each employee. The tips outlined above are good starting points, but depending on your business and industry, you can custom-design other rewards and recognition programs that reflect your organisation’s particular needs.

Ari Kopoulos is the CEO at EmployeeConnect HRIS


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