Motivating your employees is one of the most important aspects of being a manager. Even the best-run companies can’t survive without motivated workers, so it’s up to you to figure out how to keep them engaged. One way is through employee recognition examples that let your staff know they’re valued and appreciated for their hard work and contributions. While these programs are often time-consuming and expensive, there are ways to improve them—and make sure they give employees an incentive to do their best work
Make your recognition program transparent
The more transparent you can be, the better. Make sure employees know what they are being recognized for. If you want to recognize employee performance and production, then make it clear that this is the area of focus for your recognition program. The same goes for customer service, safety, or any other workplace component that might be included in your company’s mission statement.
Whether an employee gets recognition through a monthly award or a quarterly contest, let them know ahead of time how it works so there aren’t any surprises when the recognition comes around. This is just good business etiquette in general; don’t leave people wondering why they got a special gift or an unexpected note from their boss at their desk on Friday afternoon.
Consider peer-to-peer recognition
Peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to show your employees you appreciate them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just sincere. Peer-to-peer recognition can be done in person or online, but the best approach is probably somewhere in between. You should consider handing out rewards like gift cards, coupons, and certificates at staff meetings or other company gatherings so that everyone gets a chance to acknowledge their colleagues’ good work.
It’s also possible for managers to give feedback about outstanding performance via email if they don’t have time for face-to-face praise during work hours—or if they simply prefer communicating this way.
Offer tangible rewards
If you want to motivate your workers, think of tangible rewards. These will be more effective than intangible ones. Tangible rewards can take the form of a gift card or certificate, a bonus or raise, or additional paid timeoff.
Make a big splash
Recognizing employees is one thing, but to inspire them to shine, you have to make it fun. Make sure you recognize your team members in front of their peers and let everyone know about it. If possible, schedule an event or meeting where the employee will receive their award and thank them personally for all the great things they’ve done for your organization. If finances are tight, consider making the event more low-key by hosting it over lunch or sending out an email with photos from the ceremony so that everyone can see how much fun it was to celebrate their colleague.
Spotlight the spotlight-er
When you have an employee or team member who has gone above and beyond to make a difference, reward them by spotlighting them. Praise their specific contributions and allow them to talk about them.
When rewarding your employees, keep in mind that your goal is to recognize what they do best. What do they love doing? How can you reward them for doing something that aligns with that? If a particular employee loves solving problems and coming up with solutions, perhaps a gift card related to solving puzzles would be perfect for them.
Don’t overlook the value of a simple compliment
A simple compliment is one of the most effective ways to boost your employee’s self-esteem. This can be especially helpful when you are attempting to reinforce positive behavior or attitude. A compliment that is given in person, delivered with sincerity and appreciation for their work will go a long way in reinforcing positive behaviors.
One way to give an employee recognition example compliments is by simply saying “thank you” when they do something correctly or above expectations. For example, if an employee makes copies on colored paper instead of white copy paper, you could say “thank you for using colored paper today. It helps your presentations look more professional.” Another option would be giving them an unexpected gift as a token of your appreciation such as flowers or some sort of food item depending on what type of business you are running.
And there you have it: some great examples of employee recognition that work. These ideas will inspire you to create your program and motivate your workers to shine. If you need more inspiration, think of more ways to show employees how much they matter based on who they are and what they value both at work and outside of work.