Celebrating the work of your staff, volunteers, even students is fun, until someone gets recognized for their hard work and instead of building the team, the recognition effort starts to tear it down. "Why does Karen always get the credit? I work hard, too!" "Steve is always the one getting the awards. It's just because the boss likes him more." Do these comments sound familiar?
"It's not fair!" No, it's not. It's not fair that bosses and managers cannot praise an employee for doing well without another employee getting their feelings hurt. If employee recognition is supposed to build the team and create success, why doesn't it work on some teams?!
Making employee recognition fair isn't the goal. Not everyone on your team deserves recognition for a job well done if they're not doing their job well. It's sad, but true. If fairness in your employee recognition program is something you struggle with, get some expert tips here.
There is a way, however, to make sure that everyone in your organization has their time in the spotlight—good job, mediocre job, or otherwise. Birthdays and service anniversaries are like eyeballs—everyone's got 'em, so let's celebrate!
Tips for Celebrating Birthdays in the Workplace
1. First, remember the date! There's no worse feeling than being forgotten on your birthday. Put your employees' birthdates in your calendar and set reminders for the day (or two) before so you're not scrambling at the last minute. (Our Birthday Recognition Survival Kit will keep you prepared for any birthday emergency!)
2. Second, get a card. Whether you have the whole team sign it, or just make it a personal card, take the time to write a thoughtful note. Think about your recipient, mention something meaningful to him or her, and tell them what makes them special.
3. Third, make it fun! Decorating your employee's work area for their birthday or having them wear a special birthday pin ensures their special day will not go unnoticed. No time to decorate? Take turns with your team so everyone has to pitch in, or make it simple: a bouquet of three helium balloons is fun, festive, and easy!
Tips for Celebrating Service Anniversaries in the Workplace
1. First, celebrate EVERY year! Many companies only celebrate 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20-year service anniversaries. Did you know that most employees leave within the first three years on the job? Perhaps if their time and dedication was acknowledged more often, more employees would stay!
2. Second, make it meaningful. Get a card and write a personal note inside. Mention why you value their work, and call out an achievement in the past year they would be proud of. Tell them you're looking forward to many more years. You'd be surprised at the confidence this statement instills in your employees—and, as we know, on-the-job confidence leads to greater success!
3. Third, make it personal. Whether you choose an engraved keepsake gift, or take your employee out to lunch for their special day, be sure to celebrate in a way that lets your employee know you are willing to (and want to!) invest your time in him or her as an individual.
Employee recognition does not have to be fair—it's an honor that is achieved by those who go above and beyond. But, celebrating your employees should be fair, fun, and impactful. Try starting some engaging birthday and service anniversary programs in 2014 and your staff will feel more valued than they did last year. THAT'S just the beginning...
As a team member since 2005, Falon has worn just about every hat the 'ville has to offer. She's seen both sides of working life — as an employee and as a manager — so if it sounds like she knows what she's talking about, we're pretty sure that's why. When she's not juggling between the IDville and Baudville brands, she's been known to whip up a mean diorama - just like that!