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The Keys to Employee Recognition- Because it's Important!

Updated: Apr 21

Two hands holding a trophy and a letter that states "winner".

With everything that a company has to juggle, employee recognition may not always be a top priority. However, it should be!

Providing employees with a recognition program that they appreciate is important and an essential part of self-improvement and retention. Employees that are improving and performing at optimum levels are typically more satisfied in their positions while helping a company achieve its goals. To this end, we want to be very specific about the achievements and behaviors that are recognized and rewarded. They should align with company goals.

But how do we get them to that optimum level? Employees will be more motivated to work towards their goals if they are rewarded in ways that matter to them. Now, having a great recognition program is easier said than done, so here are some ways to revise your recognition programs to ensure that you’re doing the most for your employees! 

For starters, not all employees want the same rewards. This may seem obvious; however, employers oftentimes have a simple reward system that’s the same for all employees. Individualizing rewards will ensure that every employee is motivated to succeed. Individualizing rewards does not have to be complex. For example, after achieving a certain goal employees can receive a gift card to a place of their choosing. That way, the reward is still fair for all employees, but it fits the wants of each individual!

A hand holding a report and a trophy next to it.

Another key concern for developing reward programs is always monetary value. Yet, it’s not as important as one may think. When it comes to recognition, what employees care about is being recognized, not necessarily getting a good chunk of cash. Recognition can be an award such as MVP on the team for exceptional customer service, taking the initiative to improve a process or solving a problem. The amount of money being put towards a bonus program should be determined, budgeted and approved by the financial, HR, and management team. Leaders can have a budget and feel free to reward employees as they see fit for their specific business objectives. No matter what the reward, ensure that the focus of the bonus is on employee performance. A simple email, letter, conversation, or announcement stating why they are receiving this bonus and what a great job they’re doing, goes a long way!

Lastly, if your recognition or bonus program is based on certain performance standards or goals, consider spending 15 minutes on a short training for employees. This training should not only explain to employees what they need to do to reach their goal, but why this goal should be important to them. This way not only will the objectives be clear, but employees will feel more inclined to reach these goals since they understand the greater outcome.

These tips are simple and easy ways to improve any recognition program. By individualizing rewards, focusing on recognition, and offering training, employee and company performance will improve!


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