Showing Employees Your Appreciation in the 21st Century

Showing Employees Your Appreciation in the 21st Century

Employees want their contributions recognized by management – simply getting a paycheck isn’t enough. There often isn’t an immediate financial motivator for an employee to go above and beyond the call of duty. But if you foster a work environment that encourages and rewards great work, employees will be willing to go the extra mile for the company. Use these proven methods to make your company a great place to work.

Get Social!
(Almost) everyone loves to be acknowledged publically for their hard work, so spread the word. Don’t be afraid to write a blog post detailing what they do that makes your company great, or send out a Tweet about them. A study found that social recognition is much more effective than a pat on the back from the boss.

Internal Recognition
If you’re lucky, your company has too many over-achievers to properly recognize via social channels. However, you can still highlight their performance without leaving them feeling slighted. Depending on the size of your company, consider sending a weekly or monthly email, praising the employees who stand out from the pack. Don’t underestimate the power of small rewards, either. Small gestures will reap big dividends.

If an employee had an excellent morning, telling her to take the afternoon off will leave everyone with smiles on their face as she leaves the building. Everyone wants to know their work is recognized, even if it is as small as a firm handshake and a sincere, “Good work.”

Financial Incentives
Money is a motivator, but must be used wisely. A promise of raises for everyone if “Goal X” is accomplished seems like a great motivator. In actuality, it offers no concrete incentive. It’s more effective to offer short-term, reachable goals to drive productivity. Short term goals can be seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ that employees know can be obtained. Complex bonus plans, with distant payouts and goals that are difficult to achieve may not motivate employees because the incentive is much harder to get and farther away. This article is a good primer on building an effective bonus plan.

Showing more frequent recognition and appreciation via smaller financial rewards such as tickets to a movie and/or dinner out will foster employee satisfaction. Your goal is to build employees who love your company, and will work hard as a result – not to create money-chasing robots.

Any recognition system you create should be unique to your company. It’s wise to conduct an employee satisfaction survey before building a program to better understand your employees. The research will show you what motivates your employees, and you can structure your rewards system accordingly. Contact NBRI today if you’re ready to find out what motivates your employees!