Employee recognition programs are commonplace in corporations. However, most of these programs are not successful, especially when it comes to making employees feel truly appreciated for their hard work, dedication, time, and efforts. Despite having spent countless hours in the same office for decades, most corporations and their leaders fail to establish a sense of appreciation among their employees.
There might be employee recognition programs at these companies that recognize employees based on their behavior, time, or how they have contributed to the company in a small way. In reality, this leaves a significant number of employees unrecognized for their daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly contributions.
What kind of impact would it have if all employees felt appreciated, regardless of their role within the organization? Your organization would benefit from sustainable results and a culture of appreciation would prevail. As a result, employees will be happier at work, resulting in a higher level of productivity. In addition, their performance level would be elevated to an unprecedented level.
The Struggle is Real
No doubt, it is a very real challenge to make each and every employee feel appreciated. Corporations and their leaders have long struggled with how exactly to express gratitude to their long-term (and short-term) employees. Why is this the case? In particular, corporate leaders tend to make assumptions about their employees. The assumption that employees are aware of their level of appreciation in the workplace is one example.
Additionally, there is an undeniable issue with communication. While employees fail to communicate how they feel underappreciated, their corporate leaders make the issue appear more complicated than it actually is. There is a true struggle between employees and corporate leaders as a result of this. Besides creating miscommunication between them, it also creates a great deal of workplace discomfort throughout the organization.
The same is especially true when Jane Smith is recognized for her recent efforts in increasing the number of clients frequenting local markets by a mere 5%, while you, the company’s longest-serving employee, have been employed for approximately 28 years and have boosted profits by 12%. Despite Jane Smith receiving a “Good Job” pat on the back from the CEO of the company, you were completely overlooked for your efforts until later in the fiscal year when your next-door cubicle buddy tells you, “Hey, this was thanks to you!”. However, your CEO did not even acknowledge your efforts.
It is unfortunate that such situations occur too frequently. The good news is that this does not have to be an issue at all. Here are a few tips to guide both your employees and corporate leaders in the right direction.
1. Encourage Employee Feedback And Recognition
A better-than-average job is something employees want to be aware of, as well as something they need to be mindful of. Furthermore, constructive criticism should also be offered. Provide employees with recognition feedback on a regular and ongoing basis. There is more to this than just “favorable” feedback. Furthermore, they should be aware of when and where they can improve. Feel free to guide them in the right direction if they require it. It is common for corporate leaders to employ the so-called “sandwich” method when providing feedback to their employees. In a nutshell, this technique is just confusing for employees, so it should be discarded all together.
On a regular basis, this may not be as straightforward, so ensure this is done in the same amount of time for each employee throughout your company. Therefore, if you decide to conduct a one-month productivity review for a specific department, you should apply that one-month productivity review to all levels of the organization. This should not be limited to formal recognition or evaluations.
In certain situations, it is sufficient to wave your hand followed by a greeting such as “Hello (insert name here). Would you mind telling me how you are doing today? ” After employees speak, be sure to follow up with them to find out if they have any questions, concerns, or feedback they wish to instill.
Employees and corporate leaders will benefit greatly from this simple acknowledgment as it ensures that communication is on an equal footing on both sides. Not only will addressing issues frequently promote growth, but it will also allow everyone to feel more comfortable and open to sharing positive and negative advancements within the company.
2. Express The Type Of Growth The Future Holds
Neglect is not something anyone enjoys or appreciates, especially employees. This tends to occur when they are overlooked for a promotion. Moreover, employees want to know where their future lies, even if it is a short-term one. Discuss opportunities for advancement and growth openly. Should this not be a possibility for an employee, it is important to express to them how they can improve on their job in order to increase their chances of happiness and advancement in the future.
3. Be Flexible With Your Employees
When it comes to ensuring that employees feel appreciated, this is likely something that is not considered. To make employees feel appreciated and recognized for their hard work, this is an absolute necessity. It could be something as simple as, “Take a few extra minutes to enjoy your lunch. You have earned it with your diligent work” will go a long way in making sure employees are recognized, even for the simple tasks.
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
As often as possible, speak with each employee on an ongoing basis. In large corporations with many employees, this can occur as frequently as once a week. However, for smaller corporations, this should not exceed once every two days. Please note that this does not mean you must have a full-blown conversation with them about everything they are currently working on, but simply checking in via email, phone, text, or Zoom meeting will suffice.
The recommended amount of time per week for each individual is 10-15 minutes. When communicating with them, be sure to thank them for all their efforts. You may even wish to give additional gifts of gratitude and appreciation to your team members, such as gift cards, handwritten thank you notes (or cards), or even an employee appreciation board that lists which team members you are thankful for, and why.
When it comes down to it, gratitude can go a long way. Regardless of how small it may seem, it is crucial to the success of your organization. Building a culture of appreciation and recognition begins with your corporate leadership. In order to ensure that everyone is recognized for their dedication and appreciation, it is crucial to recognize each and every team member, regardless of the size of their role in your organization.