There are several ways to thank employees for making contributions and exceeding expectations in the workplace. While praise can be given in various forms such as certificates or plaques, it can also be as simple as a short email, a verbal thank you or shared via an internal network — and it’s better to provide recognition in a timely manner as opposed to once a quarter or year, anyway.
Even with the numerous options available for recognizing exceptional employees, a Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker survey found that 52 percent of workers today feel that they are not being recognized for their efforts. Consequently, a study conducted by Salary.com noted that 34 percent of those surveyed left their jobs because they were not receiving adequate recognition for a job well done.
Additional noteworthy statistics from the September 2011 Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker study:
- 39 percent of workers feel unappreciated at work vs. 32 percent last year.
- Only 24 percent of employees surveyed felt they received an adequate amount of recognition at work.
- 78 percent said that they were motivated more when recognized for accomplishments.
- 69 percent felt that they would work harder at their jobs if they were being recognized for their accomplishments more often.
How can you create a work environment that does not require management to spend excessive amounts of time monitoring the quality of all projects that come their way? Based on the statistics, it is clear that recognition among employees is valued, but is seldom given when necessary. What is the best way to manage recognition in the workplace without spending too much time analyzing and implementing formal programs?
Getting the entire team involved in recognizing co-workers and management who are doing an extraordinary job will make performance recognition collaborative. Imagine a software program that manages your daily projects and lets you give a virtual award to your colleagues on the team. Even if you are at the associate level, you can send your co-worker a virtual award for stepping it up and owning the project.
Maybe the client loved your colleague’s ideas and you want everyone to know about it. Not only will others in the company learn of how well your project is going, they will notice that you took time to recognize a co-worker for a job well done. Not waiting for management to offer feedback will help assure small but important accomplishments are not going unnoticed.
Another collaborative way to continuously provide recognition for outstanding employees is to have them nominate their colleagues for awards to be published in the company newsletter. Regardless of how often your company publishes, having a section for recognition and awards in the newsletter will be an exciting motivator for employees to try and reach towards. With different categories, employees can nominate colleagues or themselves that they feel are deserving of special recognition.
Once again, this makes recognition collaborative by not making it only the responsibility of management. You work directly with your co-workers and often they are the ones that know your work the best. Allowing them to nominate you may even be a better representation of your achievements than the way your managers perceive you.
Recognition does not have pertain to an individual but can also be for an entire team or account. Recognizing a team that works exceptionally well together and produces great results is important for camaraderie. While incentives or awards for an entire account can get expensive, awarding them with a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a gourmet meal delivered to the office would be an exciting way to recognize everyone that worked hard.
In order to keep awards exciting, mix them up and ask employees what they prefer. The same rewards over and over again can become mundane. Before you purchase a gift card for a contest, ask employees what business they would like their gift. Unique and different prizes will keep employees excited and motivated. Some unique gifts or awards can include personalized stationery, custom bobbleheads or an edible arrangement. It doesn’t have to be elaborate — something simple, but memorable, is key to motivating employees.
Recognition has proven to be an important part of motivating employees to work harder. The statistics prove that workers want to be recognized for even small achievements but often feel unmotivated at companies because their work goes unnoticed. There are many simple and collaborative ways to show your employees that you appreciate their efforts and with today’s recognition should be a collaborative effort among the entire company and not only a responsibility for management.
What is the most unique way you have recognized an employee?