Employee recognition involves meeting your employee’s psychological need for praise when they have done exceptionally. Employee recognition could be formal or informal, thereby ranging from a pat on the bag and “you did a great job” to awarding that employee with the employee of the year status and some benefits.
Just like employee reward programs, employee recognition programs are important for inspiring loyalty and reinforcing exceptional performance. They can therefore be used together, or separately, to award employees for exceptional performance, and further increase productivity.
Although employee recognition programs do not involve giving money to employees, it is still possible for the elaborate programs to cost money. However, they are still best for small business in that there exist less elaborate and informal ways of providing recognition, that are free or cost next to nothing.
Employee recognition programs, especially those that cost the least, are easy to execute and even easier to botch. Some tips towards making sure you make the best of them include:
#1. Focus on achievement
Because recognition systems can be relatively cheap and effortless remember to always tie any recognition you give to an employee to a particular result or accomplishment. If possible tie the recognition to a particular goal or value of your business organization such as “top sales person for a particular period, instead of merely using the generic tag, “top employee”. This would make the recognition seem more special and could inspire a sense of belonging in the employee.
Recognize an employee when they have done something that is truly worth recognizing. Know that if you provide recognition every time an employee does well, and not just when they exceed a certain goal and actually do exceptionally, you might cheapen the value of your recognition. For instance, if selling 3 cars was exceptional 2 months ago, but at the moment it has become the norm, recognition should only come to those who are selling more than 3.
#3. Peer to peer
If your business is big enough to have staff in different levels, make sure recognition takes place among peers and not from top to bottom or bottom to top. Recognition should be fair and should not be allowed to destroy office hierarchy except in cases where employees are actually moving up the ranks.
Recognition systems only work well when the performance that inspired recognition is still fresh in the minds of others. It should be well-timed but preferably, not automatic.