A recent article in HBR cites the many benefits of employee recognition and how this simple act contributes to a large morale boost. Here are some ways to organically promote employee recognition. They are applicable universally, regardless of the type of company for which you work.
Apart from the act of recognition itself, the person from whom the acknowledgment is received also significantly affects its perception by the recipient. Two particular groups are very highly valued – senior leaders from within the organization and individuals who are beneficiaries of the workers’ efforts.
Such positive feedback is arguably especially important today, when the necessity for remote work has widened the physical divides between us. Senior managers in particular should consider how a simple, signed letter sent after (or in lieu of) a Zoom call has the power to reinvigorate and motivate team members.
According to one study, non-monetary gifts can be more effective in bolstering productivity than financial rewards. Respondents said that they were motivated by the time and effort that had gone into choosing and purchasing such gifts. The simple allusion of a personal touch elevated the recognition above common rewards such as gift vouchers.
This aspect of recognition is surprisingly tricky. Many managers would opt for some sort of ceremony where awardees are felicitated in front of their colleagues. Different studies have uncovered differing reactions from non-awardees. In some groups, this group was motivated to perform themselves while in others, the event triggered resentment. Assess the likelihood of each scenario before committing yourself to either.
The when of employee recognition could be a daily practice in the form of a short message at the end of every day. If you choose to do this, be aware that it may almost inevitably come across as forced and repetitive over time.
With remote work making many feel we are living weeklong stints of 24-hour work, a variation could be to tell your team that you expect them to log off and take a break after receiving your message at the day’s end.
Are you looking for more ways to show your appreciation for members of your organization? See my recent article Employee Appreciation in the Covid-19 Business Environment for more ideas.