Marc L. Goldberg
Aside from financial reward, recognizing the contribution made by your employees will engender loyalty and commitment. Recent Gallop surveys show that 65% of Americans had received no praise or recognition in the past year. It is even more important now where employment options abound.
According to Joan Shafer, EXCO, leaders can recognize three areas among their teams: competence/achievements, employee character and personal.
Managers get busy and forget (leaders don’t) and it can be embarrassing for employees to seek recognition. Many leaders don’t recognize their employees because they get little recognition themselves or they may think that employees already know if they are doing a good job.
Consider these simple ways to recognize team members:
Written: Handwritten notes to a person demonstrating outstanding performance. Use a sticky note (Post-it-Note) on the employee’s computer monitor or locker door thanking them for a “job well done”.
Verbal: Start meetings with sharing a story of super performance. Even better, ask the employee(s) to share their story.
Emails to spread the word: Noting an individual’s performance in a regular internal email newsletter.
One-on-one Interaction: Help employees understand how their work contributes to the organization as a whole.
Awards: Have senior management/ownership present awards for customer service performance or significant anniversaries.
Tangible rewards: Cash/checks, gift cards (Starbucks, Dunkin, Home Depot), a pay raise, reimbursement for continuing education, photo of the employee in the lobby for all to see.
Non-tangible: Offer time-off for training (paid), days or time off, appointment to special projects, or contribute to a nonprofit in the employee’s honor.
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Some out-of-the-box ideas to recognize high-contributing team members include a mini-midday for vacation for high-contributing team members, giving an Amazon Prime Account for a period of time, sending a high-performing employee to a local spa for the day.
In sum, Shafer thinks recognition is transformative for people to understand how their contribution adds to the success of the enterprise. This is especially true when employees are not in a position to see the big picture of the business as a whole.
Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor. Sources: Employee Recognition — A Lynchpin Value for Cultural Transformation, Mills and Shafer, www.valuescentre.com; 40 Out-of-the-Box Employee Reward Ideas, YouEarnit, Recognition Practices, Joan Shafer, Coaching Advisory Board, The ExCo Group (www.excoleadership.com). For Free and confidential mentoring in management and leadership contact SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands. www.capecod.score.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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