Employee Recognition: What Works?

When you make employee recognition a priority, you’re also taking steps toward improving engagement and retention. The right type of employee engagement creates loyalty and help employees connect to their workplace. If you’re spending valuable time recognizing your employees, you want to make sure you’re making the most of your time and effort.

Q: What’s working? A: These recognition strategies.

Link Recognition to Performance

Employees should be recognized when their performance matches company goals. Rewarding performance will motivate employees to continue to improve and reach the company's desired goal. Employees should also understand the relationship between performance and reward. You should be rewarding both behavior and results.

Sentimental Connection to Employers

Companies may gravitate toward giving cash rewards. However, cash and giftcards don’t necessarily have long-term impacts on the employee. Once money is used, there’s no lasting connection to the employer. Meaningful and classic awards like award plaques have a direct connection to your company. Hand-written thank you notes have a similar impact, as employees may display them or keep them. The fact that someone took the time to write a card is memorable and appreciated.

Celebrate in Real Time

You should make sure you are recognizing employees right away. Some companies wait til the end of the year to recognize all employees at once or during a ceremony. However, performance should be recognized soon after it’s displayed.

Make Recognition a Two-Way Street

Everyone in the organization — regardless of position — should be able to recognize each other. Recognition does not have to be top down. Peer recognition is powerful because it comes from those you work with day to day. Employees will also get better at spotting good performance and motivating their team.