When it comes to effective management, employee recognition seems to be one of the main factors that impact a particular company’s well-running. Successful businesses are aware that the more gratitude their employees receive, the better their performance will be. Well, there can’t be a more accurate sentence than this. Find us a person that doesn’t like to be praised. It seems like praise, no matter how big or small it is, can go a long way for almost anyone.

What Does Employee Recognition Look Like?

Recognition in the workplace can be expressed in different ways and can take many forms. The idea is that the individuals who oversee a group of people find a way to make them feel acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions to the organization that they’re working for. 

The range of actions one can take to make their employees feel cherished can stretch from a simple high five for a well-done job, a shout-out in a meeting gone wonderfully, or it can be a monetary reward for achieving an important objective. 

The difference between reward and recognition

Many might consider the reward and recognition as synonymous, however, these are two sides of the same coin. While both of them have an important influence on employee satisfaction, they can’t be used interchangeably in work situations. One might be appropriate for a particular situation but can’t be for the other. 

A reward is a symbolic gift given to employees by their supervisor in cases when their performance is outstanding. This, in a way, ties rewards to specific goals and achievements. Whereas, recognition can feel a bit more personal, as the praise or gratitude won’t have to wait for something big to happen in order to be delivered but can be given at any particular moment. Not to mention the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to say a few delightful words to someone who deserves them for a particular accomplishment.

Why Is Employee Recognition Important?

Appreciation is one of the fundamental needs of human beings. When one knows that their efforts are getting recognized and valued by people that they look up to, their satisfaction and productivity levels can rise significantly. Yet are there any other benefits that come with employee recognition? Let’s take a look at why employee recognition is important. 

It improves employee retention

Over the years, many surveys have been conducted on how the lack of recognition affects employees and the way they see their workplace. The results of this survey suggest that 82% of Americans feel that they and their efforts aren’t recognized sufficiently. Who wants to stay part of a workforce that doesn’t respect their staff enough to say a simple thank you for the sacrifices, efforts, and services that they provide. 

The more satisfied that the employees are with what a particular workforce gives to them, the more they’re going to be wanting to stay in that work environment. When they feel like they’re looked at like humans and not just some numbers, certainly they won’t be thinking of leaving upon the first chance they get. 

Boost morale

When you think about it, receiving compliments makes us all feel good about ourselves for some time. The same applies to recognition. When a staff member gets a thank you letter or verbal praise, if not anything, they’ll feel motivated to continue down the road that they’ve started in. 

A simple greeting at the beginning and the end of the day, a sincere thank you, and an apology for any misunderstanding you might have had can do wonders for the employees. Through these small gestures, employees will feel respected and appreciated for who they are and what they bring to the table. 

Cultivate a culture of self-improvement

Compliments on a job well done tend to be more far-reaching than people are aware of. It’s common knowledge that when employees feel they’re being held in high esteem by their peers, they’ll feel respected and motivated to work on themselves and improve what’s necessary. They’ll want to turn the praise-giving into a tradition in their department. In a way, one of the benefits of staff recognition is that it encourages employees to focus on improving themselves. 

Types of Employee Recognition

When it comes to employee recognition, employers have numerous options to choose from—starting from written or verbal praise to bonuses they can give out whenever there is something to celebrate work-wise. 

Written praise

A simple gesture of writing a ‘thank you’ note can make a staff member feel acknowledged and appreciated for what they have accomplished in the workplace. Regardless of the way they are prepared—handwritten or electronically—one thing is for sure, they’re universally cherished. 

Verbal praise

In the case of having done a valuable contribution, verbal praise might be one the most used forms of praise used, by both supervisors and fellow employees. The worker will appreciate not only the words that they choose to say but also how the manager will go out of their way to thank the staff for their constant efforts. 

Small but Valuable Things You Can Do to Recognize Employees

Various companies that have already understood the importance of employee recognition have put in place employee appreciation programs. However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to worry about employee satisfaction once this program is established. Quite often you hear employees complaining about how their efforts aren’t being appreciated enough. That’s because, as you might have guessed, it’s not what you do for employees, but how you do it that really matters. 

With that being said, we thought of making it easier for you by providing a few tips on how you can do small but precious things for your staff. Let’s take a look at them. 

Acknowledging the individual

We mentioned before how the simple gesture of greeting can go a long way in the betterment of the employer-employee relationship. Treating them like a human being can do wonders for your relationship as well as for the company both of you are committed to. 

Appreciate employee ideas

If it’s something that employees do all the time is coming up with ideas to find a solution for a particular work-related problem. However, not all of those ideas will prove to be bright. Still, you as a manager will have to find a way to show appreciation to your staff for taking their time and effort to think about the problem and possibly, coming with a solution. 

Once you start criticizing or finding fault with their ideas, you can kiss their ideas goodbye as employees won’t feel free to express their thought-out solutions anymore. To avoid this situation, you should be careful with your choice of words, as you should try to be an encouraging leader and not an unsupportive supervisor.  

Offer flexibility

Another simple gesture that employees can read as a sign of trust and appreciation is giving them the chance to work remotely if their position allows for it. In cases when employees need to work extra hours, you can suggest they come in late the next day. Thus, showing them that you care about their well being and their needs. 

Give a shout-out at a meeting

Public acknowledgment can surely be another way of signaling your employees that you appreciate what they have done for your organization. Most people know when they did a good job and when they could have tried a little bit harder. However, to have the manager or boss say you did sensational work is entirely something else. 

Take them to lunch

We don’t know anyone that would reject a free lunch. By taking your team to lunch not only will you show that you care but also you will get to know them better. It doesn’t matter whether you take them one by one or as a whole team, the point is that they will appreciate that you took some time out of your busy schedule to spend it with them. 

Distribute rewards that aren’t money-related

Most employees have at least once experienced working late to meet a deadline. If you’ve been racking your brain about how to reward them, then we suggest you don’t reward them financially as there are always better well thought out ways. You can always give them movie tickets, gift cards, or any other gift that you believe is suitable for them. 

Employee recognition is an essential part of a well-functioning workplace. The way you as an organization choose to pursue praise is entirely up to you for as long as your employees feel comfortable with the way you recognize them. If you’re unsure whether you’ve chosen the right way to express the appreciation you feel for your team, you can always ask them what is more meaningful for them.