Here’s how to do an employee recognition program

When your employees feel good about their contributions to the company and their places in your organization, they’ll stay in their roles longer and work harder while they do so. Effective employee recognition can do so much to make that happen. But how do you do employee recognition right?
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The first step is to recognize that you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on an employee recognition program. You can make a huge difference in your employees’ attitudes simply by giving them verbal praise when they have earned it. Use an employee recognition platform to facilitate peer-to-peer recognition, reviews, milestone recognition, and more. Choose recognition goals that will help you build the kind of culture you want your company to have. Set goals for your employee recognition program and implement policies that open recognition to all of your staff. Finally, delegate recognition-related tasks to a recognition committee, to take some of the burden of your recognition program off your shoulders.

Recognize the Power of Praise

Praise has a lot of power in the workplace. Employees who feel like their efforts are acknowledged are happier and up to 12 percent more engaged with their work. They’re more productive, and that means higher profits for your company.

Engaged employees are also quite a bit less likely to be looking elsewhere for new employment. Gallup reports that just 37 percent of actively engaged employees are looking for new job opportunities, compared with 73 percent of disengaged employees. Praising employees for their achievements keeps them interested in the job and committed to the company. Simply recognizing employee accomplishments in a private conversation can stave off the kind of disgruntlement that typically sends employees on the job search. Make sure to touch base with employees regularly to offer praise and thanks, and to foster a sense of connection that can help your employees feel truly cared for.

Use an Employee Recognition Platform

If you really want to make the most of your employee recognition program, you need to  buy the right software to support your recognition program. The right software solution can make it easy to hand down praise and not only document recognition, but quantify it as well, so you can get a strong grasp on whether your employee recognition program is working the way you want it to. Software platforms for employee recognition allow for yearly reviews, acknowledgement of life milestones and work milestones, peer-to-peer recognition, and more, so you’ll always have a place to celebrate your employees.

Consider the Culture You Want to Foster

What kind of company culture do you want to foster, and how does employee recognition fit into that? Peer-to-peer recognition should be an important part of any employee recognition program, because it gives team members a chance to build tighter bonds and develop more trust in each other. It’s the ultimate team-building exercise. And recognition by leadership builds trust between leadership and underlings, so it can help you build a culture of integrity and recognition. If you want to build the kind of formidable company culture that retains top talent and attracts the best candidates, you need a strong commitment to recognition.

Set Goals and Clarify Policies

It’s always important to set goals at the beginning of any kind of undertaking, even the establishment of an employee recognition program. Some goals you might consider include increasing employee engagement and productivity, strengthening your teams, giving employees more professional development opportunities, and improving your company culture, for example. While acknowledging and rewarding employee accomplishments and contributions can definitely further those goals, you can take it a step further and quantify how your recognition policies are helping you reach your goals with the right recognition software tools.

You also want to be clear on your recognition policies. The program should be constructed in such a way that all members of the organization are equally eligible for recognition opportunities – not just the sales staff or the front-of-house staff. Make sure everyone knows what criteria you’re using for recognition. Things like key performance indicators, collaboration, recruitment, efficiency, milestones, cost savings, and positive reviews from customers can all be equitable criteria for judging performance and the need for recognition.

Employee recognition is one of the most powerful tools you have for improving motivation, morale, and productivity and fostering loyalty among your workforce. That’s why you need to take the time to build your employee recognition program right. When employees truly feel valued, they’ll go to the moon and back to help your company succeed.