5 Tips for Maintaining Momentum with Employee Recognition
Ready for some real talk?
Approximately 2 million Americans quit their job every month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further research shows 31% of employees have quit a job within the first six months of employment.
A study by Accenture reports the largest driver of employee disengagement, as cited by 43% of respondents, is lack of employee recognition.
The resulting imperative for companies is to create a culture of sustained employee enrichment that acknowledges all the valuable contributions of employees across the organization.
Effective employee recognition programs are not a one-off solution, but rather a continuous process of engaging the workforce. Truly moving the needle with employee engagement, in other words, takes substantial effort on the part of company leadership, management, and employees themselves.
Let’s take a look at 5 tips for maintaining employee recognition over the long term:
Clearly Define Expectations
The Accenture survey also notes that 31% of employees cite a lack of empowerment as a barrier to job satisfaction. And with good reason: Without clear expectations and goals set out for employees, how can they feel empowered to excel in their work?
One of the best employee recognition ideas involves clearly defining expectations of employees – both early and often. From basic job description to future growth opportunities, employees need this information to build commitment and engagement on an ongoing basis.
Having this information in hand also allows managers to offer timely and frequent feedback about how employees are performing against the goals set out at the onset of employment.
Create Goals – Big and Small
All employees, whether entry-level or tenured, need to be made aware of company direction and goals, as well as those goals of a specific department or unit. Communicating such goals is, in fact, critical to building positive relationships with employees and making them feel they have a stake in the company.
It’s equally important, however, to break down shared or team goals into smaller, measurable behaviors specific to the individual employee.
The key is to take into consideration the unique strengths and qualities of each employee and create goals that are both meaningful to the individual and that align with strategic company direction.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Employee engagement goes beyond just creating goals, however. In order to sustain employees’ passion for and commitment to the company over time, management needs to make them feel as though their work and position in the company truly matters.
A big part of this involves maintaining open communication with employees at all times. Whether regarding a specific assignment or a career development path, managers need to set aside time to engage in 1:1 dialogue with employees to get their perspective on a variety of issues.
Meeting at regular intervals with employees also allows company leaders to communicate company vision and ensure employees understand how they fit into the big picture.
Reward Employees for Their Achievements
Openly communicating with employees is one way to establish a rapport that inspires hard work and dedication – another is to take the time to reward the performance and achievements of devoted staff.
Hallmark Business Connections’ recognition awards, for example, allow businesses to acknowledge individual and team-wide achievements, personalize communications, and build stronger relationships with employees.
Awards can be redeemed for hundreds of national merchants (big-brand retailers, restaurants, recreation and travel gift cards, etc.), allowing employees to choose the recognition award most meaningful to them.
Share Recognition Stories Frequently
Companies invested in employee engagement don’t just reward individual employees or teams of employees but also share recognition stories across the organization.
Employee recognition becomes even more meaningful when people hear about it! It offers those being recognized public acknowledgment of their accomplishments, and it inspires others to strive for that level of performance and achievement.
As noted by Josh Bersin, Founder and Principal at Bersin by Deloitte, the organization “makes it a point of recognizing someone for their contributions every week. Not only does this make that person feel great, it lets our leadership team promote behaviors and results that we expect from everyone.”
As outlined above, it’s important to not only establish employee recognition programs but to maintain momentum with recognition to engage employees over the long term. Recognition needs to be both meaningful and frequent in order inspire employees across the organization to excel in their work.
How does your company approach employee recognition? Do you agree with the points made above?