Employee Recognition – It’s Not Just For The Holidays

holiday party for employee recognition

How often do you think about employee recognition?

This time of year, as we give thanks, spread cheer, and celebrate new beginnings, employee recognition becomes “a thing.” Holiday parties, year-end bonuses, and maybe even gifts have a long history in the workplace. And perhaps this year, as we look back on 2021, it may seem especially important to recognize the team that helped us keep going. In appreciation of what your business has accomplished in the past year or two, it makes perfect sense to take a second to focus on the people who made it happen.

Yet there is so much more to employee recognition than holiday bonuses.

When you recognize an employee’s achievement, even if it seems small, it can make a big difference. A simple, “thank you” goes a long way. It has been shown time and again; letting people know that you value them and that you are grateful for the contributions they make to your business is paramount to your business’ success. If you want examples, check out The Healing Organization by Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb. It’s an incredible collection of real companies who made (and continue to make) real differences by honoring their people.

Employee recognition is a huge factor in employee engagement.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics did a study into the effect of workplace negativity on employee engagement in 2018. One of the things they discovered is that such negativity, specifically in this case abusive supervision and negative gossip, can cost companies $3 billion every year, or more. That is a sizeable impact.

Hard-working employees deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. And publicly acknowledging them can have a bigger effect than you may realize. More than 91% of HR professionals believe rewards and recognition increase employee retention.

Recognizing and rewarding employees for desired behaviors and outcomes not only reinforces the positive behavior, but it also can lead to higher engagement. And according to Deloitte, engaged employees have a 14% increase in productivity and performance.

That translates to getting more done in less time. This means there is more time for other projects and more potentially, even more profit. Happy employees make for happy customers. Everybody wins.

Here are some ideas for your employee recognition programs.

Perhaps one of the most underutilized opportunities to recognize employees is the performance review process. Reviews are a great time to sit down one on one with your employees and let them know you see them. (And they should never be a surprise!) Better yet, introduce weekly or monthly check-ins where your team can tell you how you are doing and what you can do to help them be even more successful. Be sure that your employees understand that they have a voice, that they are heard, even if not everyone gets to make the final decisions.

Another option to consider is public recognition. Share success with the entire team. Add a section to your employee newsletter, or perhaps create a space where people can post encouragement, appreciation, and congratulations for their coworkers.

One of the things we do at HireEffect is spotlight employees who embody our core values in our monthly newsletter. The catch – colleagues recognize each other. We call it catching someone doing something good. We also have a channel in Teams where anyone in the company can give kudos to give thanks or to honor a coworker.

It’s OK to get personal.

This doesn’t have to be restricted to workplace achievements either. Think of how good it feels when someone remembers your birthday or a special anniversary. Something as simple as a birthday wish can brighten your employee’s day, and it shows that you care enough to remember those details.

And yes, there is a place for holiday bonuses. We gave our employees a bonus (deposited on Cyber Monday) so they could get themselves something nice for the holidays, instead of waiting until year-end.

There are many other ways to go about recognizing and supporting your employees. If you want to learn more about employee engagement and recognition, HireEffect is here to lend a hand. Our HR services range from helping you define your core values and workplace culture, to onboarding, performance management, and more.  Have any questions? Contact us today!

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