In Somebodies and Nobodies: overcoming the abuse of rank, Robert W. Fuller discusses the importance and impact of employee recognition in the workplace, by saying that “eliminating deficiencies of recognition in the workplace is proving to be as good for the bottom line as eliminating nutritional deficiencies were in the past for the productivity of day laborers.” Because of the current economic shift, the focus for most organizations has turned toward maintaining continuous workflow, and keeping the company, its clients and employees intact. With the day-to-day impact the economy has left on organizations, employee appreciation may often be forgotten. But can organizations really afford to place employee recognition on the back burner?
Employee recognition can easily be linked to employee engagement and company morale, potentially determining internal performance and results. Overlooking the importance of employee recognition may cause negative impacts to spill through the workplace and company culture. The reality is that all staff members work hard and want your organization to succeed and thrive through this challenging time. Now is the time to take a step back, recognize the value of the individual and show your appreciation. Yes, the stable paycheck is more than enough, but small gestures of recognition go far, and help employees remember they are a valued and integral part of the team.
Highlight employee successes – When customers or clients speak to the performance and service of your employees, do you make them aware? Publicly recognizing the efforts of your staff, and acknowledging the work they are committed to, is appreciated and respected.
Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition – Positive feedback from management is valued and always welcomed, but the recognition that comes directly from peers is often a true reflection of an individual’s performance and contribution. Coworkers who work together on a consistent basis see the moments of excellence that management may overlook. Find a way to allow employees to acknowledge each other. Do you have weekly staff meetings? If so, try and include this recognition by allowing staff to highlight the achievements of a teammate.
Take a break from e-mail communication – In a society that moves at such a fast pace, it’s rare that we take moments to handwrite our appreciation. This simple gesture goes further than you may realize. By taking time to write your thanks through penmanship, you remind your employees they are worth more than a quick “click and send” e-mail praise.
Food always does the trick – No one ever turned down a surprise staff breakfast, group lunch or gift certificates to dinner. Food is always a fan favorite and is a great way to gather employees for conversation that doesn’t involve the ongoing to-do list.
Celebrate the special occasions – Birthdays, engagements, wedding and baby showers – they all encompass the monumental moments of your employees’ lives. Organizations are able to connect with staff outside of a professional relationship if you celebrate the special moments of an employee’s personal life. As you begin to incorporate these celebrations into your culture, your company will feel less like a business and more like a family.
For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.
Photo source: CCL Staff