For the last several weeks, your team has worked tirelessly to make this holiday season a success. They have done everything you asked, and now it’s time to show them some appreciation. Retaining good employees is important and recognizing them for their hard work will go a long way to keeping them happy and engaged. Global studies revealed that 79% of people who quit their job cite lack of appreciation as their key reason for leaving. Even with this known concern, a Harris poll found that 65% of workers reported receiving no recognition for good work within the last year. The post-holiday season is the perfect time to show appreciation to your team and doing so properly makes all the difference.
Listed below are a few tips to help you be successful in sharing appreciation and showing recognition to your team:
Be timely with your appreciation and recognition. When an employee does something deserving acknowledgment, try to express that sentiment in the moment whenever possible. By doing so, you not only show great appreciation to that specific employee, but you also show everyone else present that doing so is meaningful to you and worthy of everyone’s time. When you offer an employee a reward, it’s also best to do that in the moment as well. Being prepared and having your reward ready to go sends the message that recognizing employees is important, and your actions reflect that priority. Avoid the temptation to over promise when it comes to recognition. You need to be able to do what you say you are going to do. Lack of follow-through will have the opposite impact you are intending, and you will end up disappointing and discouraging your employee.
Personalize your appreciation when possible. No two employees are alike, so appreciation should be personalized. For example, if you have an employee who is more of an introvert, showing appreciation to that employee publicly may cause more harm than good. People are motivated for different reasons and building that into your recognition program is important. Personalizing your appreciation also shows you are not taking a cookie-cutter approach and every employee is uniquely valued.
Be genuine. When showing appreciation or recognition, it’s crucial to make sure the words of praise are sincere and expressed for meaningful actions. Offering appreciation for completing standard tasks like getting to work on time does not translate into well-received recognition and could be interpreted as condescending. Being genuine also means putting thought into exactly what you say and how you say it. Be as specific as possible in the words you use to describe their actions. If recognition is perceived as automatic, it starts to lose value, so searching for and using new and creative ways to express your thanks keeps people engaged.
Offer your employees a reward that shows you care. Ask yourself what your employees really want, then work to fill that request. The idea that “it’s the thought that counts” really applies here. The more meaningful and relevant the reward, the more valued your employees will feel. If you are struggling for ideas on how to best show your gratitude, food is always a great choice. Whether it’s doughnuts or burgers, everyone needs to eat, and providing food saves them both time and money. No matter what you decide to do, be as inclusive as possible and offer options for everyone. People don’t always eat the same types of foods, so offering a variety shows you care. Be open to feedback and adjust as needed. Remember, it's all about the employees.
Incorporate some type of peer-to-peer recognition. It’s great when the boss notices the great work an employee is doing, but having a coworker take the time out of their busy day to do the same can mean even more. People like receiving praise from others who work alongside them and truly understand what it takes to do the job. This kind of recognition can build a great team atmosphere and provide a supportive culture that motivates everyone to excel in the things they do.