Even before the pandemic triggered the Great Resignation, organizations have been reeling with meeting the talent requirements of the business. Over the past few decades, there has been a massive shift in how employees perceive workplaces. Rather than staying in a single job for the majority of their career, employees are shifting jobs regularly during their careers. When there is a consistent shortage of talent and employees are looking at changing jobs regularly, it is critical to understand the reasons behind this trend.
There are different reasons why employees are job-hopping. It could be because of better pay, better working hours, a flexible work environment or better growth opportunities. The fact is, most of these are based on individual goals and not under the control of the senior management. However, a large percentage of employees are changing jobs because of a lack of recognition, rewards, not-so-exciting work and not feeling valued at the workplace.
These all are factors in the management's control, and conscious efforts can be made to improve the recognition and rewards provided to the employees. Employee recognition programs are nothing new to the workplace and have been there for many years. However, with the acute talent shortage and employees having more choices than ever, it is critical to rethink the approach to recognising and rewarding employees.
Here are the top 10 recognition ideas for work that you can adopt at your workplace:
Why is employee recognition important?
Employee recognition is not just about making people feel good about themselves. It is a critical piece of the puzzle that enables you to increase loyalty and the engagement level of employees towards the organization. Recognition also works well because humans love being appreciated and rewarded for their efforts.
As they realise that the organization recognises their efforts for doing a good job, the employees feel validated for their efforts and boost their confidence.
How do you promote recognition at work?
A well-structured recognition strategy can help employees go the extra mile for the organization. But how do you promote it at work? You need to have a balanced approach. Consider the following aspects:
- Recognition has to be specific. Employees have to know why they are being recognised.
- Recognition delayed is recognition denied. It is important to recognise the efforts of employees at the right time.
- Use a mixed variety of recognition. You can use formal and informal recognition and rewards for the employees.
- Take feedback from your team regularly on their expectations and thoughts about the recognition program.
- Personalise the employee recognition program as per the needs of the organization.
Employee recognition ideas at work
Several initiatives can be taken to recognise employees' good work in an organisation. It is important that these activities are not executed in silos but as part of a comprehensive recognition and rewards program in the organisation. These have to be integrated into building a program that keeps employees motivated and makes them feel valued for their efforts. The idea is to display company swag to make people feel valued at the workplace.
Some popular employee recognition ideas at work are as follows:
- Employee of the month
The traditional Employee of the Month award may seem like an age-old tactic, but it still works like a charm if executed properly. Rather than having an award that is a formality, you would need participation from your senior management. The participation needs to be both with time and financial commitment. To make the Employee of the Month award work for the organisation, it needs to be something the employees aspire for. If executed properly, the Employee of the Month award will motivate employees and keep them engaged in working towards winning the award and, in the process, work to achieve the organisational goals.
- Offer professional development opportunities
Few environments can be worse than a work culture that does not provide enough learning and growth opportunities for employees. You need to ensure that the culture in the organisation is built by offering your employees challenging tasks and getting enough professional growth opportunities. One of the primary reasons employees change jobs is due to better growth opportunities they find outside the organisation. If they can grow in their role and move up the ladder during their stint at the organisation, they would be more than happy to stay longer than a few months or years at a single organisation.
- Build employee engagement opportunities
One of the most common challenges employees faced during the work from home phase was the lack of employee engagement opportunities. The organisation must build enough employee engagement opportunities as employees get comfortable with the hybrid environment and return to the pre-pandemic era. As employees collaborate, it allows them to learn more about their colleagues and feel part of a bigger family. This is critical because a sense of belonging makes a bigger impact than a small reward.
- Celebrate work anniversaries
One of the ways that you can reward loyal employees at the workplace is by celebrating work anniversaries. Again, how you celebrate work anniversaries will decide how it will impact employee morale and mindset. For it to work effectively, the organisation needs to make a conscious effort to recognise and reward employees that did a great job and worked for the organisation for a longer period. The reward system can be built like a ladder, where employees get increased rewards with time.
- Build a Wall of Fame
You can build a wall of fame in the organisation that can include compliments received by your team members, progress charts of the employees, recent certificates, or any other achievement of the employees that can make them feel recognised at the workplace. This can be an innovative idea that can be customised per your organisation's needs.
- Offer gift cards
There is nothing else that works better than rewards for the employees. It need not be a big reward all the time, but you can invest in some gift cards that can be awarded to the employees every time they benefit the business. It can be a big deal signing or attaining high customer satisfaction scores; this token of appreciation must be used to show employees that the organisation recognises their efforts. These gift cards will not impact the profitability much compared to the positive impact they will have on the employees.
- Promote peer-to-peer recognition
Rather than ensuring that the top management always drives recognition, you need to invest in building a culture of recognition in the organisation. As you make a conscious effort to build a culture of recognition, you can start initiatives like peer-to-peer feedback and recognition and organisation team-building activities that help each organisation learn more about each other and appreciate the strengths of your colleagues.
- Celebrate employees on social media
Recognition need not be confined to the workplace. You can use social media to highlight the achievements of your employees. It can be a recent certification that an employee has got or positive feedback a team member has received from the client. You should harness social media's power to recognise your team members' efforts on social media. This is a good place to show your employees that you care for their efforts and are willing to acknowledge their contributions publicly.
- Appreciate employees publicly
One of the worst mistakes employers make is that they criticise publicly and appreciate privately. Well, it should be the other way around. You need to appreciate the efforts of your employees publicly. This will make them feel recognised for their successes. At the same time, you should talk to your employees privately about any shortcomings and constructive feedback that you may have.
- Use a point-based reward system
Rather than relying on gut feel and limited feedback, you can build a point-based reward system in the organisation. This is one way of gamifying your rewards system that motivates employees to accumulate more points. At the same time, you can build a system where employees can redeem these reward points for certain incentives they want, rather than getting another generic mug in return.
Create a culture of recognition to make people feel happy and appreciated
It is time to rethink how employee recognition programs have been run at the organisation in the past years. An adequate focus must be provided on creating a culture of recognition to make people feel happy and appreciated for their efforts at the workplace.
Use a platform like Mesh to recognize employees and make them feel valued. With Mesh, you can provide recognition and feedback, increase peer recognition, set up periodic performance reviews and invest in the learning and development of your employees with Mesh. This is a win-win proposition for the employee and the organization!