This year, January the 24th is National Compliment Day (yes there is such a day), so what better time to let your employees know how much they are appreciated. Surveys prove that “when asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “give recognition”. On the other hand, although it’s great to embrace this day, what about the other 364? Recognising and praising staff isn’t a once a year sort of job, it’s something that has to be maintained all year round. So, what are the best ways to praise your team and what are the main pitfalls you should avoid.
If someone has done something great, why wait? Increasingly, employees prefer instant recognition. In fact, “80% of Millennials said they prefer on the spot recognition over formal reviews”. Let them know that it was noticed and appreciated as soon as you can to boost morale, you can do this either through a verbal comment or an on the spot reward. Then if you feel like it’s worthy, you can then back this up in your next one to one.
Don’t feel like you need to praise people for the sake of praising, it’s not a check box that needs to be ticked each month. People will quickly see through forced compliments and won’t trust the real ones when you meant it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of mixing feedback into your complements, such as saying “that was great work in yesterday’s meeting, but next time you could……”. Let the person revel in their success for the time being and address any improvements separately in your one to ones. This way keeps them motivated and encouraged; if you always include ways that they can improve into the compliment that’s the only part they will hear and over time this will only discourage and dishearten them.
It’s important that you highlight the exact reason why you’re praising them, this way your employee will understand the exact behaviour that warranted it and will strive to repeat it.
You don’t want to thank people if they aren’t pulling their weight, but if you just thank the same few people it might discourage the others. Only 13% of workers are engaged, whilst almost double that amount (24%) are actively disengaged. Often there is a strong link between the fact that your most engaged workers are the ones you reward the most. Some motivation and encouragement might be all a less productive worker needs, especially if they complete a task that they normally struggle with.
It’s great to get praise from a manager or boss, but sometimes it means just as much or even more to hear good things from the people you work with on a day to day basis. Plus, if workers know that others notice what people do, they are more likely to go that extra mile. So much so that “peer to peer [recognition] is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition”.
Although everyone loves receiving recognition, they don’t all necessarily want to receive it in the same way. Whilst some people are happy to receive it in front of the whole office, others may prefer it if you pull them aside and thank them in private. Make sure you get to your employees so that you’ll know which option an individual would prefer.
It’s important to recognise those loyal employees, but don’t exclude the new starters just because they haven’t been with you for as long. Some researchers suggest that a scary “87% of employee recognition programs centre on how long the person has been at the company”, does that mean any new starter has to wait 10 years before they hear a word of appreciation? Make sure you show thanks to all your employees, regardless of position, time spend with you or experience.
Saying well done works wonders for employee happiness and retention, but sometimes words might not be enough. If someone goes above and beyond for the company or consistently gets their work done without a fuss, show them your appreciation with a Gift Card or eGift. With the ability to choose different card values, you can give them a drink on you or help out towards their dream holiday. If you’re looking for a more long-term recognition solution, we also offer our new benefits platform; SVM Limitless, which includes and optional recognition module.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Gift Cards or SVM Limitless call 01709 303 102 or click here to see our product range.
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