Marc L. Goldberg
In addition to the financial reward, recognizing the contribution of your employees will engender loyalty and commitment. Recent Gallop polls show that 65% of Americans had received no praise or recognition in the past year. This is even more important now that job opportunities abound.
According to Joan Shafer, EXCO, leaders can recognize three areas within their teams: competence/achievements, employee character, and people.
Managers get busy and forget (leaders don’t) and it can be embarrassing for employees to seek recognition. Many leaders fail to recognize their employees because they themselves receive little recognition or because they may think employees already know if they are doing a good job.
Consider these simple ways to recognize team members:
Writing: Handwritten notes to a person demonstrating outstanding performance. Use a sticky note (Post-it-Note) on the employee’s computer screen or locker door to thank them for a “job well done.”
Verbal: Start meetings by sharing a super performance story. Better yet, ask employees to share their story.
Emails to spread the word: Note an individual’s performance in a regular internal e-newsletter.
Individual interaction: Help employees understand how their work contributes to the organization as a whole.
Awards: Ask senior management/owner to give out awards for customer service performance or milestone anniversaries.
Tangible rewards: Cash/checks, gift cards (Starbucks, Dunkin, Home Depot), raise in salary, reimbursement for continuing education, photo of employee in lobby visible to all.
Intangible: Offer training time off (paid), days off or time off, special project appointments, or contributions to a nonprofit in the employee’s honor.
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Some out-of-the-box ideas for recognizing team members who contribute the most include having dinner for two on you, hosting a midday mini-vacation for top performers, giving away an Amazon Prime account for a while, sending a high performing employee at a local spa for the day.
In sum, Shafer believes that recognition is transformative for people to understand how their contribution contributes to the success of the company. This is especially true when employees are unable to see the big picture of the business as a whole.
Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor. Sources: Employee Recognition—A Core Value for Cultural Transformation, Mills and Shafer, www.valuescentre.com; 40 Out-of-the-Box Employee Reward Ideas, YouEarnit, Recognition Practices, Joan Shafer, Coaches Advisory Council, The ExCo Group (www.excoleadership.com). For free, confidential management and leadership mentorship, contact SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands. www.capecod.score.org, [email protected]
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