Recognize Employees the Way They Want to Be Recognized

Happy employees applauding their co-worker

Employee engagement is important, and one of the best ways to develop engaged employees is to recognize the work they do and reward that behavior. When employee recognition becomes a priority, employees feel like their work is important and it encourages employees to continue making valuable contributions or even improve their current levels of productivity. So why aren’t all employee recognition programs successful? Recognition often feels impersonal, nonexistent or insincere, and can often fall flat. Here are a few ways to tailor employee recognition programs so companies get the best response from their employees.

Make it Personal

Time and time again, companies have discovered that a one-size-fits-all approach to employee recognition is ineffective. All employees at an organization are unique and respond differently to different types of recognition. Get to know employees and what motivates them. If a company is too large to effectively get to know everyone on staff, enlist the help of supervisors and other managers to understand employees’ hobbies, passions, and lifestyles.

Having a little more knowledge about employees allows managers to personalize rewards for recognition. Does Allison play tennis? Provide a half day off and a court rental so she can play. Does Manuel have a young family? Give him a day off so he can go to his kids’ soccer tournament. Understanding what employees value makes it easier to award recognition in ways to which they are more likely to respond.

Encourage Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Give employees the opportunity to recognize each other. Peer-to-peer recognition can be just as powerful as recognition from managers. Engaged coworkers make less engaged employees want to up their game. There are several ways to create these opportunities. An anonymous Twitter account gives employees a way to submit positive comments about their co-workers abilities and character.

Peer-to-peer recognition can help enhance company culture through teambuilding, but make sure it’s clear that the program isn’t mandatory. If a peer-to-peer recognition program is mandatory, the feedback being given will feel insincere and impersonal.

Timeliness is Key

Don’t wait for performance reviews to reward employees for their hard work. Managers should recognize and reward good work quickly so they remain engaged with the company and their employees. Engaged managers make for engaged employees.

Make recognition a part of the company routine, but remember that it’s important to balance rewards with other types of feedback, as too much recognition can have the opposite effect on employees. If an employee becomes accustomed to nearly-constant recognition, they may begin to feel insecure if the level of recognition decreases. If it’s a more routine part of company culture, this is much less likely to happen.

Because different employees and companies respond differently to certain types of recognition rewards, it may take some trial and error to find the type of reward program that works best with your company culture. At BirdDogHR, we understand the importance of reward recognition when it comes to your employer brand. The BirdDogHR Brand Builder Managed Service can help you achieve your other employer branding goals. Contact us today learn more about how you can improve your employer brand.