The Value of Recognition by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

A mistake that some business leaders sometimes make is failing to regularly recognize their employees. When you’re a business leader, you likely wear many hats, and regular recognition of others who make your organization run like a well-oiled machine may not be high on your to-do list. It doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate them, but it can mean that they fail to realize how much you appreciate them. oy

If you want to immediately increase employee productivity and loyalty, take the time to recognize their achievements. It’s easy to overlook the contribution employees make day in and day out, but it is a mistake to do so.

Recognition programs need not be elaborate, nor do these need to cost a lot of money. It’s a great idea to put a couple of different types of programs in place. Consider a long-term program, such as an employee of the year, that offers a substantial recognition. In addition, have short-term recognitions, as well. Your business should have some sort of employee recognition at least monthly.

Remember that it’s a good idea to recognize multiple employees as often as possible. For example, set a goal for the month and recognize everyone who meets the goal, rather than only recognizing the highest achiever.

Also, remember that it is important that recognition programs be fair, and truly recognize employees who go above and beyond. If employees begin to feel that employees who do not do their fair share are being recognized, the program will lose all its meaning. In fact, it is better to have no program at all than to have one that employees feel is unfair or not meaningful.

Talk with your peers about how they motivate and recognize their employees. They can offer you valuable advice about the programs that have worked for them in the past.

While you’re working on your organized programs, remember the value of an old-fashioned pat on the back, too. Simply acknowledging that you appreciate the work your employees do one on one is a powerful motivator. When employees know that you see what they’re doing and that you appreciate it, they are happier and more productive. You will see an amazing turnaround in morale and atmosphere once your employees see how much you appreciate them.