When employees are sufficiently motivated, there is little they cannot accomplish together. Even if your company is staffed entirely by people who are the best in their respective positions, their talent and knowledge can’t help the company succeed if it remains untapped. When employees are motivated and engaged, they are more likely to put forth their best effort in everything they do. The result is a team that functions at its highest potential, delivering the strongest possible results for your company and its customers. It’s not enough to hire the best people for the job — you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them engaged and motivated, as well.
That’s where employee recognition programs can be powerful tools for employers. Although employees should be expected to put in their best efforts every day for their paychecks, employee recognition can be the key to motivating them to go the extra mile — rewarding them for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Although most employers have some form of employee recognition program, too many of them utilize antiquated systems that rely on tenure-based recognition. Recognizing employees for their contributions as they make them — as opposed to waiting until they mark specific employment milestones — can be far more effective in creating a motivated and engaged workforce. With that in mind, it’s important for employers to build an employee recognition program that rewards and recognizes employees in a way that will inspire and encourage them to try even harder the next time. Here are some basic tips you can use to create a more effective and creative employee recognition program.
Do the Little Things
Every employee can appreciate a fancy gift or a big bonus in recognition of a job well done. Though in many cases, even the smallest gesture can be just as effective. A simple “thank you” note from the higher-ups can mean a lot for an employee putting in his or her best efforts every day. A small surprise gift such as a candy bar or a gift card also can show an employee that his or her contributions to the company are valued and important.
Get Everyone Involved
It’s been proven that one of the most powerful ways an employee recognition program can motivate and engage employees is by sharing their good deeds with their peers. One way to do this is by creating a communal “wall of fame” at the office that singles out employees who make a strong contribution. Another way is to use your company’s social media presence to honor employees who deserve praise for their hard work. Implementing a way for employees to nominate their peers for recognition is another method you can use to boost engagement and enhance your employees’ motivation. Even something as simple as passing a positive word you overhear an employee share about a co-worker can make a huge difference.
Employees work harder when they feel as though upper management values them and respects them as people. That’s why it can be a great motivator for management to take the time to get to know employees as people and listen to their concerns. An open-door policy that allows employees to stop into their manager’s office to share concerns and discuss them directly can be a good way to do this. Calling employees into the office for a quick meeting just to say good job also can improve their mood and motivate them to work harder.
Get to the Points
As motivating as it can be to reward employees right away for their hard work, having them work toward something through their extra effort also can make a big impact. A points system where employees are awarded points for each time they make the extra effort can be an effective motivator. Those points can be exchanged for rewards, whether they’re physical gifts from a catalog or perk-based rewards such as a preferred parking space or work-at-home days.
Employers expect employees to try their best each day, and they should. However, over the course of a long workday, anyone’s commitment can begin to flag for whatever reason. That’s why it’s essential for any business that wants to deliver the best possible results and the highest levels of success to think about ways it can motivate and engage employees to do their best — all the time. With a few simple techniques for building employee recognition programs that make employees feel appreciated and valued, employers can ensure that their operations always operate at the highest levels.
Author bio: Kelly Chesterson is Vice President of Operations for Point Recognition. Chesterson holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and is a Certified Engagement Practitioner. She has worked in the reward and recognition industry for more than eight years.