Most of us have felt underappreciated at work. Failing to recognize good employee performance in the workplace can negatively affect their productivity and performance. And this will result in low sales, revenues, and profits for the organization. Research studies conducted by Gallup found that only one in three employees received recognition or praise in a week. And this is one of the factors that harm employee engagement and lead to high turnover rates.
Employees who aren’t recognized by their managers are likely to quit. As a small business owner, you might feel like your business can’t afford employee recognition. However, most of the time, it will cost you nothing to make your employees feel appreciated. The majority of employees are not motivated by money alone. Small gestures of appreciation can be more effective than a bonus. Here are the best ways to effectively recognize good employee performance.
Benefits of recognizing employee performance
Employees who are recognized tend to be respected by their colleagues. While most employees and managers relate recognition to monetary bonuses, appreciating employees doesn’t have to be glamorous or expensive. Some of the common benefits of employee recognition include:
1. Happier employees
Happy employees are highly productive. Recognition allows your employees to feel that they are a perfect fit for the organization. Acknowledgment boosts productivity, promotes collaboration, and enhances loyalty.
2. Boosts employee retention
Employee retention is all about retaining talented employees. Recognizing and rewarding employees is one of the best ways to retain staff.
Best ways to recognize good employee performance
1. Celebrate early wins and small successes
When employees make minor mistakes, you are likely to correct them. The same should also apply in reverse. Celebrating employee success regardless of the size is essential for maintaining a positive environment and building confidence. It’s an easy and simple way to let employees know that you appreciate their achievements and efforts. You can praise your employees when they:
- Handle difficult clients well
- Respond to requests quickly and accurately
- Demonstrate emotional intelligence
- Show up early and stay late to get the job done
2. Give them non-cash rewards
If you want to thank your employees for performing exceptionally well, you don’t have to give them money all the time. You can consider giving them scratch tickets, gift cards, movie tickets, and other amazing gifts that will let them know that you have the best intentions at heart while allowing them to have fun. You can also think of giving hardworking employees physical rewards such as plaques or customized trophies as a reminder of their achievements. Trophies not only show how hard they’ve worked but they can also display them in their offices or homes to motivate them to achieve higher goals. Tokens of appreciation recognize their contribution to the organization.
3. Exhibit positivity while acknowledging employee performance
Positive energy should be exhibited by praise and recognition. It’s a great way to make employees love their work. It also allows them to share their achievements with their loved ones. Negativity can negatively affect high performance. For instance, negative remarks such as ‘you shouldn’t be doing every time’ can negatively affect their productivity and performance. Such feedback can show that their efforts aren’t satisfactory. It can also add extra pressure on employees who achieve high performance.
4. Invest in their personal and professional development
You can offer to pay entry fees for a personal or professional development course for your employees. This will not only show that you value their growth and development but also boost the organization’s performance in the long run. You can help your employees grow by investing in soft skills such as communication, time management, public speaking, writing on Essaygeeks and listening skills to name a few. When it comes to professional development, the course will be determined by the employee’s area of specialization.
5. Don’t forget the low performers
Low performers need to be appreciated. There are lots of factors that can contribute to low performance. There can be personal or organizational barriers that prevent some of your employees from performing. Further, those who are not high performers or goal achievers can add great value to the organization. If your organization only had high achievers, it can be one of the hardest places to operate. Rewarding low performers will motivate them to set goals and achieve exceptional performance in the future.
6. Figure out what drains your employees
Do your employees spend a huge part of their mornings or evenings driving to and from work? Does sitting all day tire them? Do they spend most of their time alone? Allow your employees to choose how the organization can help them. This involves paying for commuting expenses, dog walking, or paying for their massage. You want to focus on the personal gesture more than the money saved to make employees happy. By making their lives easier, you’ll also be boosting their productivity in the workplace.
7. Employee appreciation days
It’s always important to praise your employees in front of their colleagues to boost their self-confidence. Apart from that, employees will do all they can to be recognized when they know that you appreciate their efforts. You can have the ‘employee of the year/month reward for top performers in your organization. You should remember to celebrate their work anniversaries, birthdays, the birth of a child and other important life occasions. When congratulating them, you can attach a thank you card too. You don’t have to spend loads of cash to appreciate your employees. Small acts of appreciation can have the greatest impact.
8. Employee recognition wall
Another important factor that you need to consider when recognizing your employees is having the recognition wall. You can create an office board and have all employees fill it with notes of congratulatory messages to the top-performing employees. This can help in inspiring employees to work harder. It will also challenge those who haven’t appeared on the wall to do their best to appear on the wall. All your recognition programs need to be inclusive. All employees should be eligible for the rewards. Excluding a specific group or employee can affect their performance negatively. Also, you should avoid holding those who’ve performed exceptionally well for long. You must recognize your employees immediately by congratulating and thanking them.
Employee recognition is one of the best ways to boost their productivity and performance. A great employee recognition program starts with the organization’s culture. Focusing on employee development and retention will pay off in spades in the future.
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