Recognizing employee performance is one of the cornerstones of keeping employees motivated and engaged. In my article, “Setting the Stage”, I referenced positive recognition as being one of the key factors in creating a positive employee environment.
Recognizing your employees helps all your employees, the ones who are recognized feel appreciated and noticed by your thanking them for their level of effort and accomplishment. For other employees the recognition reinforces your corporate values by creating examples of the types of behaviors and efforts that you’ve rewarded.
In the best of environments, recognition will happen organically because managers pay attention to what their teams are doing and will notice which team members are excelling. In many situations, recognition can drop off of the radar as managers at all levels focus on efficiency or profitability, something the business is measuring explicitly. The importance of thanking people for doing their job well or going above and beyond expectations goes to the sidelines.
Recognition can take many forms, and not all employees will respond the same way to the same incentives. If you feel like you do praise and reward your employees but your employees don’t feel the same way, then you might not be recognizing them in a way that resonates with them. Once you understand who your employees are as individuals, you will know what’s important to them and what will make them feel recognized and motivated.
Here are some forms of recognition that can be used to personalize the experience for your employees based on what they are most comfortable with:
- Public recognition – being positively recognized in front of peers and/or to other leaders
- Monetary – bonuses, gifts or gift cards, increase in wage
- Private moments – time with the boss – this could be one-on-one walking around the operation, coffee at a local shop, or even dedicated office time.
- Added responsibility/empowerment – for some, added responsibility shows you trust them, so pile it on! They are ready, willing and able to show you they can succeed!
Understanding your employees as individuals will help you determine which form of recognition is appropriate for each person. For example, one person may take public recognition as form of motivation and continue to exceed expectations, while someone else may shy away from taking chances in the future out of fear of embarrassment.
Recognition is in the eye of the recipient, get to know what motivates your team and try to personalize your recognition to motivate and highlight to others what it means to be a high performer.
Please join the conversation….