Wood Words

Are You Patting Employees on the Back – or Metaphorically Slapping Them in the Face?

How well do you take care of your company’s most vital asset?

Regardless of how profitable your business is, or how in-demand your products or services are, people will always be your most valuable resource.

Take great care of them, and they’ll reward you with productivity, loyalty and passion for their work. But if you fail recognize and reward them? Engagement and morale will suffer, creating a toxic work environment that undermines productivity, retention and profits.

Employee recognition efforts are most effective when you:

  • align them with your company’s values, mission and goals;
  • develop consistent, sustainable processes to implement them;
  • make them a strategic leadership function that demonstrates your appreciation for both individual and departmental contributions.

Sound like a tall order?

To make sure you’re truly patting employees on the back (and not metaphorically slapping them in the face), steer clear of these common employee recognition fails:

Employee Recognition Fail #1: Lack of Communication

Sharing employee achievements regularly (both inside and outside your organization) is a great way to show them that their hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed. Here are a few ways to effectively communicate promotions, achievements, board appointments and other accomplishments:

  • Include briefs of employees’ achievements in internally distributed communications like newsletters, intranet news and weekly email updates.
  • Post employee achievements to your organization’s social media platforms when appropriate (don’t forget the pictures!).
  • Announce achievements during company meetings.
  • Encourage managers and supervisors to publicly and personally congratulate deserving employees.
  • Distribute news releases to announce major promotions, awards or other newsworthy employee achievements.

Employee Recognition Fail #2: Missing Milestones

Do you have processes in place to track and celebrate employee milestones? It’s a great way to honor their long-term commitment and service to your company. Celebrating work anniversaries is an effective way to demonstrate to every employee that your organization values people who remain committed to your company’s mission. Additionally, this form of recognition promotes both employee satisfaction and a culture of professional growth.

Before you go buy watches or engravable plaques, however, survey your employees to find out the types of recognition that are most meaningful to them (you may be surprised by what you learn!).

Employee Recognition Fail #3: Inside-the-Box Bonuses

Most companies view bonuses as pure financial incentives for achieving specific performance goals. But if that’s all your company uses them for, you’re missing out on a powerful, morale-enhancing tool.

For example, consider awarding bonuses in the form of a “co-worker bonus program,” where you’d allow employees to award small, cash bonuses to colleagues who they believe have performed exceptionally over the past month. Co-worker bonuses also can be awarded as gift cards or paid days off. Whichever option you choose, these programs incentivize team members to work well as a unit, while encouraging employees to empower and recognize one another.

Communicating and celebrating employees’ accomplishments, as well as creating financial incentive programs that promote goodwill among employees, can be one of the best decisions you make for your organization.

Need a simple way to recognize a deserving employee?

Treat them to a paid day off! Our Nashville employment agency can provide a qualified temporary associate to “pick up the slack” for the day – just give us a call to discuss your requirements.