Your employees dedicate a lot of energy to their professional lives, but most importantly, they’re taking time out of their own lives to build your brand. For this reason alone, you should develop an employee recognition strategy that celebrates and acknowledges their hard work.
Why Should You Celebrate Success at Work?
If all of your employees walked out tomorrow, what would happen to your business? Would you lose a lot of money, time, and respect from the community, or would you face bankruptcy? Even large enterprises would struggle to replace their staff, stay profitable, and stay in business.
But we don’t have to guess what would happen if workers quit en masse because it’s happening right now. The Great Resignation, which experts state was going to occur regardless of the pandemic, is a reminder of what happens to organizations when they don’t listen to employees.
Employees Want to Be Recognized
For years, the working class has discussed how important recognition means to them, and studies back this us. 79% of employees have left their job because they were underappreciated.
A 2004 Gallup study shows that 65% of employees received no recognition within the last year, 35% felt a lack of appreciation hurt their productivity, and 78% would work harder if they received recognition. Employee recognition isn’t just a workplace benefit; it’s a necessity.
Employers Also Benefit From Employee Recognition
Plus, employers who create employee recognition programs receive the following benefits:
- Improved employee morale
- High employee retention rates
- A supportive work environment
- Increased company loyalty
- Reduced staff turnover
- Better employee engagement
- Strengthened company culture
- Enhanced interpersonal dynamics
In the end, an employee recognition strategy is a win-win for employers and employees.
However, keep in mind that employee recognition isn’t about acknowledging hard work. It’s about creating an emotional connection with your employees and your company. When you’re supportive of your employees, they’re more likely to stay authentic to your company’s values.
How to Acknowledge and Reward Your Employees
The backbone of any employee recognition strategy is how you say “thank you,” but you need to tailor your response to the person receiving the award. For example, an introvert wouldn’t want to be the center of attention, while a busy senior manager may prefer a quick conversation.
To celebrate your employees successfully, consider their personality and the AIR acronym:
- Action: What did they do?
- Impact: What did the action accomplish?
- Reward: What should you give to them?
As a rule, the reward you give to your staff should be proportionate to the impact of their actions.
For example, if an employee saved your company thousands of doors because they recognized a mistake, you should give them an extra vacation day or a day off. If your employee did something small but impactful, a handwritten note or a department-wide email would suffice.
Don’t be afraid to celebrate big and small wins, so long as you don’t go overboard. Celebrate achievements or milestones, but make sure you thank your employees at least once a week.
According to Gallup, praise from managers has the most impact on employees (28%), while praise from executives is the second most important (24%). Most employees prefer to receive acknowledgment in front of their coworkers unless they’re shy or easily embarrassed.
10 Ways to Celebrate Your Employee’s Success
Now, you’re ready to give out some kudos and “good jobs.” Notes and emails are all well and good, but if you want to go above and beyond, try the following employee recognition ideas.
1. Give Them a Custom Award
Custom awards and plaques from FineAwards.com are the perfect way to celebrate milestones and project win, even if they’re small. Introverts will love receiving these in private. Your employees can display their awards and trophies on a shelf at home or on their desks for bragging rights.
2. Do a Company-Wide Shoutout
Stand up in front of your team and deliver an employee appreciation speech. However, if your staff member won’t appreciate that, write a page-long message or write a Tweet about their achievements. On the other hand, you could send your acknowledgments in a group chat.
3. Buy Them Breakfast or Lunch
Share breakfast and lunch with each other instead of sending a virtual thank you card. Ask them to invite a friend from work, if they want, as sharing a meal with the boss can be a bit awkward. If you have employees working from home, fill up a virtual credit card specifically for meals.
4. Personalize a Celebrity Message
Does your employee like a particular celebrity? Would they appreciate a shoutout from some of The Office cast or a Youtube influencer? Use the Cameo app to personalize a special message from one of their favorite celebs. You’re guaranteed to make a memorable, hilarious moment.
5. Host a Friday Acknowledgement Meeting
An hour before the weekend, call your team together for a recognition session. To start the meeting, ask everyone to nominate a person they felt should be recognized and why. Then, share something you’re proud of. This ensures everyone gets the attention they deserve.
6. Take Breaks and Have Some Fun
Having fun at work doesn’t mean you’re goofing off. By playing games with your coworkers, you’re actually fostering a better team dynamic. Plus, managers that allow their employees to take a break from the clock prove they trust their employees to finish projects on time.
7. Let People Go Home Early
If your projects are done, and there’s nothing left to do, celebrate your win as a team by going home early. You could also have designated half-days or earned time off days. If your schedule is packed, offer an extra vacation day or a “no questions asked” sick day they can redeem.
8. Throw a Party or Go on a Retreat
A classic way to show appreciation to your employees is by throwing a party. But if everyone’s onboard, a retreat is another great option. However, retreats aren’t accessible to everyone, and they may not have anything to do with money. Poll your employees to see what they’d prefer.
9. Gift Something Small
Who wouldn’t love a surprise gift, especially if it’s a chocolate bar or a box of cookies? But if you prefer to get something they need, pay attention to your employee’s surroundings. For example, If your employee eats a granola bar every day, they’d appreciate it if you bought them a box.
10. Offer an External Skill Certification
Some of your employees want you to participate in their ongoing growth. You can do this by offering an external skill certification that upgrades their current level of education. For example, you can gift a user experience certificate to your coders, IT professionals, or web designers.