Sometimes, as managers, we forget about the value that even the simplest praise and recognition has to our employees. We forget that it is human nature to need reassurance from people that we look up to and respect. We forget how much people thrive when they feel appreciated. But the real value lies in HOW we show our appreciation, not just that we do it.
So, How Should We Effectively Recognize Employees?
By ensuring that your organization's employee recognition program not only reinforces the organization’s culture but achieves a higher level engagement includes the following:
Reinforces desired behaviors
Works to create an atmosphere of appreciation and trust
Promotes empowerment and involvement
Creates loyalty to a company
A True Story of the "Magic Moment" of Employee Recognition
A quick, relatable story. My wife, Wendy, worked for her previous employer for nearly nine years. She was in outside sales and her manager was quick on the criticism and slow on offering positive reinforcement. When she was recognized it was generally in passing or in private with little fan fair. It was difficult for me to see my wife come home from work feeling defeated day after day.
Fast forward to April 2014. She interviewed and was given the opportunity to join a new organization that she knew from her initial interactions, held the same ideals and customer service philosophies that she did. She was excited to be part of a team that cared as much as she did.
The company's annual awards luncheon was to be held at the end of June. This is where they recognize the significant achievement of employees each year, including milestone anniversaries (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc.), and special recognition for continued excellence. In May, they introduced a new incentive, called the Customer Service Hero Award. This was an award that was introduced to recognize outstanding customer service with both internal and external customers. Employees could nominate others within the company that go above and beyond what their job description requires. This award was only given quarterly, so the June luncheon was only the 2nd time this had been given.
The fact that Wendy had only been with the organization for a few months, she wasn’t sure what to expect at the luncheon. She had learned from her past job that organizations often miss the mark when it comes to recognition. She expected this to experience to be much of the same.
You cannot imagine the emotions she felt when the CEO announced to the whole company that she had won the 2nd Customer Service Hero Award! To receive that kind of employee recognition for simply doing for a customer what she would hope someone would do for her was just phenomenal! And to be recognized after just two months in such a big, public way was a feeling she just couldn’t express. She was honored, and overwhelmed, and so happy to finally ... FINALLY be appreciated! Her CEO not only presented the award to Wendy, but shared a specific customer service story that showed Wendy’s work ethic. They made her feel like an integral part of the company, and that was worth even more than the award she received.
How to Create a "Magic Moment" for Employee Recognition
Address your employee by their name.
Research their critical employee information including years of service, accomplishments, and contributions prior to the presentation.
Share a work-related short story or anecdote if appropriate, but always avoid embarrassing jokes or other comments that may make the associate uncomfortable.
Communicate how honored you are to have the opportunity to recognize him or her.
Congratulate the associate, say “thank you” and shake his or her hand.
Looking for more opportunities to boost employee recognition within your organization? Contact us for a 30-minute complimentary consultation to see how C.A. Short Company can help you surpass your employee engagement goals!
At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform helps you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here.