Excuses, excuses! There are always a lot of them when it comes to neglecting employee recognition. “I don’t know what to do.” Or, “I don’t have the budget.” Or, the whopper with fries and a shake: “I don’t have time.”
We know these are all valid, but just because you have a good reason doesn’t mean you should forget it and move on. Appreciation, encouragement, and praise can profoundly affect the state of morale and engagement in your workplace.
According to a Gallup study, the #1 reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. And, Towers Watson reports that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. There are tons of statistics out there—follow these tips and you won’t be one!
- Plan ahead. It’s true that day-to-day recognition should be spontaneous and timely for it to be considered sincere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it. At the start of the week, choose a behavior or characteristic that you value and commit to looking out for it. When you see it, acknowledge it. Choose a different focus the next week and the next, so everyone has an opportunity to be recognized for what they contribute.
- Set reminders. For those busy managers who don’t have two minutes to rub together, this is a must. Paired with the strategy in #1, these prompts will help you stop, give pause, and remember what your focus is this week. Put at least two reminders in your calendar for mid- and end-of-week—and at times when you will be most apt to act. Then, follow through!
- Arm yourself. You have a plan, you have some prompts; now you need some tools. Fill your desk drawer, briefcase, or pockets with small notes you can give on the spot. If you have them at the ready and within reach, you’ll not only be prepared, you’ll also be more likely to use them when the moment hits.
- Verbalize it. Not all employee recognition needs to be tangible. Words have weight, too, and are often remembered and revisited with the same gravity. If you have group or one-on-one meetings with your team members (and you should!), take time at the beginning of your gathering to say thank you or point out the great work happening around you. By making recognition part of a regular event, it easily and naturally fits into your routine.
If you’ve ever felt like employee recognition is out of your reach, these ideas will prove that there is nothing puzzling, pricey, or prolonged about it. Give them a try and tell us how they worked for you!
Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!