Importance of Employee Recognition!

Importance of Employee Recognition!

Importance of Employee Recognition

Employees do expect recognition for the contributions they make. This is one phenomenon where many organizations err. They may either go overboard or do little in rewarding performing employees. Both ways, they do not reach their objective in rewarding the right performance at the right time, place and measure.

As Bob Nelson says “People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” Employee recognition is strategically important for an organization because it creates a positive, productive environment in the workplace. It is an important channel through which you can communicate to your employees that you care for them and value their performance. This helps build trust and a positive relationship with your employees.

Employee recognition is a powerful tool to sustain high performance levels in your employees. It is also a channel through which you communicate to your employees the kind of actions and attitude you like them to execute. Thus, you establish the performance patterns that enhance productivity and render you a competitive edge.

Here are a few guidelines that help you create a strategy to recognize and reward your employees.

Remember, there is no ONE way

There are as many ways to appreciate your employees as your imagination think up. Develop innovative ways to recognize and reward your employees. Moreover, no time is improper to show your appreciation. In fact, a few of words of appreciation such as “Well done” or “Thank you” from you can go a long way in motivating and giving them a sense of achievement.

Give Your Employees Little Surprises

People enjoy recognition with an element of surprise. Your employees work day in and day out to meet the deadlines of grueling projects. At the end of it, announce a lunch with the CEO or give them a holiday package. Here, your knowledge about the employees’ preferences comes in handy. Know their preferences and announce rewards. Do not give them the same kind of rewards.

Set Objective Criteria for Recognition

Employee recognition techniques work only when you inject objectivity and transparency in all aspects. Ensure that all employees are given equal opportunities. While analyzing your employees’ performances for recognition, ensure that the performance is closest to the set criteria.

Never hand-pick an Individual Employee for Recognition

Several organizations fall into the trap of letting their managers select an individual or individuals for recognition and rewarding them accordingly. But you must keep in view that such appointments are, more often than not, prejudiced. Do not bank on them.

These are a few tips which I think can set the tone for your recognition programs. In addition, you can innovate and implement several ways and means to appreciate and reward your employees. However, be guided by the dynamics of your workplace settings. You can carve out a highly productive, positive and proactive workforce!

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • I’m wondering whether it’s possible to reward an entire team rather than an individual employee. What would be the benefit or detriment of doing so? Is it possible that rewarding a team of high achievers and hangers on would be a disincentive to the former? Would individual rewards be counter-productive when trying to build a functioning, performing team?
    What do you think?


    Putting aside money limitations, etc….I do believe that there should be a recognition scheme depending on what needs to be achieved and what has been achieved. This differentiates the good from the average employees. However, how do we stop employees from becoming complacent when such a system is in place? I agree with Joshua: sometimes it’s just the intention that counts, making time for the employees, listening and also giving praise when it’s due…

  • The first and most important part of any recognition program is to clearly define what actions will get you recognition. I do not give recognition for the daily carrying out of your job. I set a threshold that if you exceed what I expected of you then you deserve recognition. This makes the recognition more valuable. As it was stated just a simple thank you or job well done is enough. My mantra was praise in public reprimand in private. However, be respectful of your employees. I had a couple who were not comfortable with being praised in public. So I would have to find those private moments to give them the praise they deserved.

    If I had asked my team for a concerted effort to hit a goal which was aggressive and they hit it. Then on Friday I would have a catered lunch for them. I added one little caveat to it though. You were not allowed to start eating until you bitched about what was bothering you. The rule was no matter what it was it stayed in the room. I learned a few things that I need to work on as their leader from a few complaints. There was never any repercussions for what was said in that room. I did this to help eliminate stress and to make a better working atmosphere for my people. I had a great team while I was there. They were admired by all the other managers.

  • Great post. Finding creative ways to recognize an employee’s efforts – especially if your department is strapped for cash and will not allow financial recognition – is so critical to moving the bottom line.

    When I was a sales manager, no one could quite figure out why my team’s results were untouchable on the reports. No one could compete. There was a “yes man” in my office who tried beating me by firing everyone. He failed. There was a micro-manager who tried to beat me by grading calls strictly and holding everyone to the letter of the law. She failed.

    Where we won was because I showed constant respect for my team members. I listened. I removed obstacles, eliminated objections and valued their input. I made the team about THEM. About US as a whole. I was no better than anyone else.

    Recognizing people daily, pointing out who was making it happen, giving free incentives like trinkets or time off the phone for their results in certain areas…these things may not have helped their standing in life, but they were instant gratifications that made them feel good.

    And they went a long way in our success.

    Every day, as a sales leader, we must focus on making the environment conducive for results. Keeping your team members happy, focused and fully aware you support and care about them is the first and most important step.

    All the best!


  • From my own experience, and having managed teams myself, although reward strategy (which of course is broader than salary or bonus payments) can be a great facilitator for staff recognition, being singled out and praised by your manager, can have a tremendous positive effect.

    Of course, there are many variables… the relationship you have with your manager, how well-regarded they are by you/the team/within the organisation, if praise is something they give frequently or not at all… the list goes on. The key is that the praise is given in a timely manner, not weeks or months after the event, that it is openly recognised and is demonstrated to be fair and applicable to all employees. This means that people need to clearly understand what’s expected of them and what ‘going the extra mile’ looks like that would warrant specific recognition. Although I’m sure people would love to have some token reward such as a lunch or other things mentioned, it’s amazing how far a thank you said sincerely can go!

  • Chuck Hohnbaum

    When I hire a new employee I give them a “getting to know you” sheet to fill out. One section asks what kind of things make them feel appreciated and encouraged. It gives me insight how to reward them in terms that are meaningful to them. As a leader in a not for profit, there are restrictions on how we can recognize great work. Sending someone on a cruise for being employee of the year just doesn’t work for us. Our limited funding, donor relations and government regulations means I usually have to find other means for recognition. That’s why it is important for me to find other ways to recognize their good work in terms that connect with them.

  • To maintain a positive work environment managers and supervisorsers must remember to: “Praise in public; criticize in private!”

  • One more point managers and supervisors need to be aware of when criticizing is called the “Sandwich Technique.” Specifically, postive/negative/positive! So when criticizing, start with a positive — this allows the person you will criticize to open their mind and be receptive to your comments. Then do the negative — the criticism and close with a positive; such as, “I know I can count on you to do this right.”

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