Employee Recognition: A Step-by-step Guide

employee recognition

em·ploy·ee

noun

  1. a person employed for wages or salary, especially at nonexecutive level.

rec·og·ni·tion

noun

1. identification of someone or something or person from previous encounters or knowledge. 

2. acknowledgment of something's existence, validity... appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability.

 It's always good to begin a discussion by defining one's terms and while that first definition seems like a no-brainer (if you can't define "employee" you probably don't have any…), let's take just a moment to ponder the significance of that second one because the definition itself helps to justify the rest of our discussion.

What is employee recognition?

It is an acknowledgment of, and appreciation for an employee's existence, validity, achievement, years of service, and abilities. The total package--and unquestionably a vital part of good leadership. So how to physically communicate this acknowledgment and appreciation? The million-dollar question.

 Let's break it down…

1) It's pretty important to recognize (definition 1, above) each employee as an individual. Learning the names and a few personal details about the people on your team will go a long way in beginning or maintaining a relationship that shows appreciation for your employees. If you get organized and intentional with this habit, you can make it work even in larger organizations by using an inter-office social network program like CA Short's People Are Everything.

 2) Once you've made a personal, individual connection with an employee, make a point of noticing and commenting on daily or weekly accomplishments and achievements. Be specific and to the point, don't just toss a general "good job!" in their direction. By making this small step, you will prove to the person you're congratulating that you do see the work they put in.

3) Reward milestones and significant accomplishments, such as years of service milestones, tasks accomplished on time and under budget, or breakthroughs in research and development. Find ways to make these rewards public and let the employee's family bask a little in the reflected glow. 

 4) Spoil your people with little luxuries that show you care-- healthy and fun snacks in the break-room, quality coffee, and tea, or a round of drinks on the boss at a local bar after work. Throw in the occasional gift card, gift basket, or other tangible tokens of regard and keep reminding your team that they matter to you.

 5) Take care of your staff's physical and mental well-being by establishing a health and wellness program, or sponsoring a local "Fun Run". Set an example among the leadership of the right work/life balance and support your employees through continuing education programs and career advancement opportunities. 

If these five starter steps seem overwhelming, CA Short is here to help. With over 80 years of experience, our Certified Recognition Professionals can get you started with programs, ideas, a critique of your current practices, and much more. You can call, chat, or email to get the conversation started today.

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Topics: people are everything, Employee Appreciation

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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