“Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will.”
- Jim Goodnight, Co-Founder & CEO, SAS
According to a study undertaken by Qualtrics, the top-most driver of engagement at the workplace is opportunities for learning & development (57%). However, recognition for good work occupies the second position with 52%. Whereas Qualtrics’ 2020 Employee Experience Trends study stated that Singapore’s average score on employee engagement is 47%.
Employee appreciation not only enhances productivity, but also, helps act as a brain booster to create a positive workplace culture. It creates a better self-esteem, keeps individuals motivated, and nurtures optimism. Specially during these trying times when the feeling of isolation creeps in quicker than before, a recognition from a peer, or a simple appreciation email from the seniors can make a huge difference.
We have a designated Employee Appreciation Day - Corporate gifts get showered, one day initiatives are run, the intranet booms with shout outs for recognizing achievements. But the question is - Should employee appreciation be limited to merely one day?
Here’s how you to can ensure that your organization instils a sense of pride by creating a best practice of appreciating and providing recognition to all the well-deserved work, on a continuous basis.
Criticize in private, appreciate on social
This has been an age-old tried and tested, but never failed mantra. As an organization, take pride in handing over the limelight to your employees, every time they go beyond expectations and achieve a milestone. Recognize them over the company’s official social media platforms, make them a part of your corporate videos, invite them to an exclusive podcast or conversation with the CEO, get them to interact with cross-functional teams and peers across the organization; one success story can indeed impact many lives. Analytics suggest that providing any form of social recognition, does not only improve the stock prices 4X, but also, improves individual performance by 2X.
Humanize the provision, offer more learning
Some organizations prefer to offer monetary rewards as recognition for their high performing individuals. Rewards in the form of meal coupons, discounted spa vouchers, dinner for two, movie pass, online shopping vouchers, etc. However, a personal touch always makes a difference.
A 2019 Workforce Learning Report by LinkedIn revealed that about 94% of employees claimed to stay longer at the organization, if only it helped them learn. One of the best offers that an organization can make as a token of gratitude is to provide an upskilling certification/ course. It shows that you are willing to invest in your people. Besides, it also helps aid retention.
A centralized gamified app
The culture of gratitude must be imbibed top-down. An aspect that most organizations often overlook, is the current magnitude of the diversity in their multigenerational workforces. The purpose of putting in place an employee recognition initiative is to make the entire process of appreciation easier. With almost 95% of workforces working remotely, digitizing appreciation is the most impactful solution.
Therefore, just as internal communications are disseminated via a central medium, one of the most popular ideas that organizations worldwide are exploring is to create an employer branded, but employee-centric recognition portal. An easy to use application that employees can independently engage to recognize a peer, redeem their rewards, and simultaneously, track the number of shot-outs that they’ve received – Just like their personal dashboard of professional achievement. Besides, a peer-to-peer recognition program drives home more impact as compared to an organizational recognition program.
However, building a positive culture of recognition at the workplace, isn’t an overnight process. The leaders as well as the management has to be equally involved and make time for personalized interactions. Employees are the backbone of an organization. Thus, keeping them engaged with consistent recognition and relevant appreciation is the key.