When you think of a job you loved, odds are, it wasn’t the paycheck that produced fond memories.
It was more likely the people you worked with and the satisfaction you received from feeling appreciated for your contributions. One of the best ways to create an environment where others will flourish is by being intentional about employee appreciation. While it can take many forms, giving credit for a job well done conveys your team members are valued and their achievements are noticed. It also encourages loyalty and inspires continued strong performance.
The cost of taking employees for granted is high. According to research by Gallup, those who do not feel adequately recognized say they are twice as likely to quit. Building and maintaining relationships with your team is vital to your success. Follow these tips to create a habit of meaningful, consistent recognition for employees.
Add it to Your Calendar
People tend to make time for things which are important to them. Schedule time daily or weekly, depending on the size of your company, to proactively identify the good work happening in your office. This will also allow you deliver praise promptly instead of weeks later when it will have less impact. Even a simple reminder on your smartphone can help you spread some positivity around your workplace.
Give Kudos with Personality in Mind
Determine the most effective ways to recognize contributions for different employees. Some people relish getting a pat on the back in front of everyone at the office, while others cringe at being singled out in front of the group. Others feel the love when rewarded with a gift card or candy bar. Take the time to understand what motivates each person you work with directly and ask the supervisors in your organization to do the same so rewards resonate with each employee.
Praise Effort as Well as Achievement
One of the most powerful ways to encourage employees is to recognize their persistence, hard work and effort—regardless of the outcome of their project. When employees know their valiant attempts at success are appreciated, it inspires them to stretch themselves, take risks and give it their all. When tenacity goes unnoticed, employees often only work for a Friday paycheck, clock in, do the bare minimum and leave on the dot.
Rewards don’t always have to be financial; in fact, many employees say that being noticed for their work is more meaningful than money. A primo parking space, a flexible work schedule, a new computer with two screens or an updated title with new business cards are all low- or no-cost ways to honor a job well done.
Remember Birthdays and Other Milestones
A birthday card might not seem like a big deal, and in terms of the effort required to purchase, sign and deliver one, it’s not. But it is a great opportunity to reach out in a personal way and communicate an employee’s value. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect, even in a small way, with people who support you. Also commemorate work anniversaries and project milestones, such as an employee’s years of service to the company, finishing a long term program and other important occasions.
Share Positive Feedback From Customers
One of the easiest ways to show appreciation is by passing along compliments from your customers. When a client says good things about the service they received, share it with the employee responsible and let other colleagues know. It’s a triple win when employees know their performance is making a difference and they are acknowledged by their boss in front of their colleagues.
Be Strategic and Sincere
Establish criteria for recognition and make it consistent. The praise must be measurable and authentic. Honoring one employee for something minor and overlooking the huge accomplishment of another can backfire. Make sure your truly outstanding employees do not feel overlooked.
Link Rewards to Your Company’s Goals and Values
For example, if your company’s vision statement emphasizes integrity, look for examples of employees upholding that value even in the face of obstacles or difficulty. If another employee donates time to a local charity, highlight it in the company newsletter. Attempt to keep the company’s principals and ethics in the forefront. After all, your employees are ambassadors of your company, on the clock or off. Identify their efforts and recognize them accordingly.
You may also like Strategies for Becoming a Better Communicator. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on HuffPost, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.