Tips for your Employee Recognition Programs

Tips for your Employee Recognition Programs

Great workplaces are great at recognition.  Great recognition programs increase employee morale which helps boost productivity, retention, and commitment.  Kick your company’s employee recognition efforts into high year by making certain your practices include these 5 key characteristics!

5 Characteristics of Great Recognition Programs

  1. Get Personal.  Sure, everyone may get the same t-shirt or gift card for large company-wide celebrations, but when managers and departments want to send a heartfelt thanks for a job well done, the thank you needs to be designed to fit the recipient.  A company-wide shout out might not be the appropriate way to recognize the team introvert, and the captain of the crochet club might not love tickets to the boss’ box seats at the game. Great recognition is great for the recipient.
  2. Be specific. Recognition is more meaningful when specific accomplishments are celebrated.  Being specific let’s folks know that you are paying attention to their performance.  Your entire team benefits as well by seeing what sorts of behaviors, contributions and accomplishments earn a gold star.
  3. Don’t be exclusive! The surest way to botch recognition efforts is to ignore all the players that helped produce the outcome being recognized.  Every organization has superstars, and star performers are often recognized with promotions and increased responsibility.  But when recognizing a team accomplishment, great workplaces are inclusive and will call out the specific contributions each team member made in driving success. 
  4. Invite peer-to-peer recognition. Create a culture of appreciation by inviting employees to recognize each other for a job well-done or an over-and-above contribution.  Peer recognition programs encourage employees to take note of what their colleagues are doing, and build camaraderie and excitement for individual and company successes.
  5. Promote Recognition at the Top. Every great workplace has several ways that senior leaders or partners can recognize teams or individual employees.  While a great people manager has several recognition tools at their disposal, and demonstrates the characteristics outlined above, a great workplace has leaders who get in on the action too, demonstrating that senior leadership knows and understands how teams and individual contributors are driving business success.

When is recognition most meaningful to you?  As a manager, what can you do to enhance how you  recognize your team members?

Leslie Caccamese serves as Senior Strategic Marketing Manager with Great Place To Work® Institute