By: Thomas Schlick
Hey, who doesn’t like a little recognition? You work hard, do your best, and it just seems natural that your boss or a peer would acknowledge what you’ve done. Well, just like anyone else, I can promise your employees enjoy a “job well done!” here and there, and it can make a world of a difference!
This blog is a follow-up to a previous post on Regrettable Turnover – the departure of key employees who feel under-appreciated. Recognition plays a big role in how valued your employees feel, and thus their retention. Seeing your rock stars leave your company can be devastating. You may think you are providing them ample recognition, and yet they leave anyway. Why?
Let’s take a look at the types of employee recognition you may be using and how we could improve it for better retention and happier employees!
Types of Employee Recognition & When to Do it
1. Years of service:
It’s been my experience, that tenure (or years of service to the company) is the #1 form of recognition. That might be great for some people, but the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median tenure of workers age 25 to 34 years old is just 3 years. Given this, your key employees may leave before you get the chance to honor them.
We Recommend: celebrating your employees work anniversaries every year vs every 5 or 10 years! Try putting together an annual employee recognition sentiment — maybe in the form of a team lunch once a month to celebrate, or a sentimental “thank you” gift card. If you want to step it up even more consider these creative employee recognition ideas and examples, then see what you could incorporate into your organization or team.
2. Show immediate gratitude:
I have found that many organizations save up their recognizable moments only to spring it on workers weeks or months later at performance review time. This might make for a pleasant performance review, but you will have missed the golden opportunity of catching somebody doing something right and recognizing it on the spot! Millennials, in particular are accustomed to immediate recognition for their accomplishments. If you wait even a week, your millennial employees will have forgotten what they did. When showing gratitude, time is of the essence!
We Recommend: emails shout outs! Company-wide or personal emails are a great place to highlight an employees work in a private or public way without going overboard.
Our other easy suggestions for giving immediate gratitude:
- Feel free to shout out your employees for a job well done on a project, whether it’s in private or in public, because good mentions are always appreciated.
- Emails and company weekly meetings are a great way for you to encourage shout outs amongst members.
- Let anyone on the team give a shout out to anyone else on the team, don’t just leave it up to the manager! Shout outs are admired no matter where they come from.
Moral of the Story: Recognizing Your Employees Makes a Difference
Your employees work life matters, and it’s important to make your work environment a comfortable place where employees feel welcome and appreciated.
It’s also important to recognize achievements fairly frequently, instead of waiting until performance-review time or after 3+ years of service. As a leader, though, you can’t spend all of your time looking for and recognizing the achievements of others. Here’s what you can do right now:
Employee Recognition Program Examples:
- Create or support a peer-to-peer recognition program: This way you can catch many of the great happenings around your company and act on them.
- Listen to your employees and give peers opportunities, (in meetings or within company communications) to acknowledge their fellow peers as well. This will create a more positive environment around the team and office as a whole.
- Recognition from your senior leaders will always be important, so incorporate a system to make that a consistent part of their interaction with employees.
All in all, when people feel valued for their contribution, job satisfaction and employee engagement go way up. Contact our team today to learn how you can incorporate some of these recognition ideas into your companies structure and every-day tasks.