Employee recognition and appreciation: Benefits and ideas

Group of business people applauding a presentation. They are sitting at a table in a sunny room. There are several ethnicities present including Caucasian, African and Latino

Want to hold onto the people that bring your business real value? Celebrate their achievements with these employee recognition ideas…

When it comes to taking care of your best and brightest, it’s not just about money (yes that helps!) but recognition plays a big part in keeping your best talent engaged.

Despite huge changes in the way we work over recent years, employee benefits remain an important issue for managers looking to maintain a competitive advantage. When managers don’t appreciate their staff, they stand little chance of creating an engaging, positive workplace and holding onto the people who constantly go the extra mile.

With this in mind, we’ll take a look at a variety of ideas you can use to ensure that your employees and their efforts are celebrated and rewarded.

Why is employee recognition important?

Employee recognition is important because it benefits both your employees and the business in a number of different ways.

For starters, recognised employees are engaged employees. If a specific member of staff, or an entire team, went above and beyond on a recent project, and they weren’t praised or recognised for their efforts, then they’re going to feel remotivated.

And if they put in the work on a regular basis without so much as a word from their line managers or other senior staff members, then that’s when they’re going to withdraw and disengage from their duties. The message is clear to them: “If I’m not going to be recognised for my achievements, what’s the point of working hard?”

Shot of a group of colleagues applauding during a meeting at a cafe

When employees become disengaged, their productivity is sure to fall by the wayside too. Recognition is a big motivator when it comes to productivity, and if they know they aren’t going to be praised for working hard, then they have no incentive to do so.

On the other hand, work that gets recognised gets repeated. When employees are aware that they’re appreciated, it shows up in the form of quality work that contributes to the success of a business.

Consequently, this creates feelings of high morale and camaraderie amongst your teams. Not only does this create a positive atmosphere within your workplace, but it also ultimately benefits the experience that they can deliver to your customers and clients, whatever sector you work in.

The upshot of this: you can instil a culture that people are happy to be a part of – which you can shout about when it comes time to attract new talent. And ultimately, a company that recognises its employees is one which can hold onto its best employees, even during tough times.

Happy young african american leader shaking hands with biracial colleague, praising for good job or promoting at position in modern office room. Smiling multiracial manager welcoming new worker.

Effective strategies for increasing employee recognition

Make employee recognition part of your culture, and ensure your team’s efforts never go unnoticed, with the help of the genuine, thoughtful ideas below…

Encourage leaders to recognise others

Recognition starts from the top. If you want a positive culture to trickle down to all levels of your workplace, then leaders and senior managers can easily set the example. Not only will others follow suit, but their works of support and appreciation will help employees to remain calm and focused during any difficult times the company might face in the future.

Encourage your leaders to be cognisant of others’ efforts with the following:

– Publicly recognise team members during company-wide meetings

– Making recognition a daily occurrence during interactions and meetings with other leaders

– Go public with their team’s achievements on social media (where possible)

Create a peer recognition programme

It’s often the case that peers are more aware of their co-workers’ achievements than senior staff are. Whether this is true or not, peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to build employee engagement and foster feelings of belonging and well-being in your workforce.

You can keep things informal by arranging ad-hoc events or setting up a message board in the office or over your team’s comms channel that others can write on, or you can make it a formal programme that rewards team members.

Whatever methods you go for, make sure that all employees can participate whether they’re in the office, working from home or travelling to a meeting.

Office colleagues having casual discussion during meeting in conference room. Group of men and women sitting in conference room and smiling.

Highlight and reward exceptional work on a regular basis

Beyond peer-to-peer recognition, rewarding exceptional work is a fantastic way to motivate your team and drive engagement. Celebrate top performers in monthly meetings or whenever else the wider company can share in their achievements.

When it comes to what to reward your team with, the sky’s the limit. It could be anything from vouchers and extra annual leave to special days out.

Doubly important is the need to mention their reasons for winning and how their achievements align with company values. This will help others to know the kind of actions and behaviour they can expect to be rewarded – and will give them an incentive to act in the same way.

Team outings

Recognition doesn’t just have to be for the individual. If a team has gone above and beyond, overcoming major challenges to get a project over the line, then try organising a team outing to reward their efforts.

Whether it’s a meal out, drinks after work or a day out doing something fun on the company dime, everyone’s efforts are appreciated, and it gives the team a chance to socialise – another boost for their morale.

Leave post-it notes

And lastly, sometimes it’s the little things that count. Leaving a post-it note on a staff member’s desk thanking them for their hard work keeps things informal, but memorable.

And not only is it a nice surprise for someone to get back to, but it’s also a good way to recognise the achievements of someone who may shy away from having the spotlight thrown on them in front of others.

To find out more about careers at SEFE Marketing & Trading please visit our homepage.

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