By: Esmerelda Coronado

Smart companies recognize their success is built on the hard work of their employees.

To completely engage staff members and inspire them, company leaders have to recognize and reward their efforts. Recognition needs to be authentic for it to have a real impact. Random pizza lunches and prize giveaways that aren’t tied to specific achievements don’t come across as genuine recognition.

Below is a short list of ways you can recognize the contributions of your employees in a genuine manner.

Interest-based recognition

Imagine you get two gifts for your birthday: an Amazon gift card and a pair of shoes you’ve been talking about for months. Which one would you appreciate more, the generic or the personalized gift?

Most people prefer to receive gifts that show the giver has put some genuine thought into it. Managers can do this with their employees by asking them for a list of things they like to do, and then use that list in rewarding their employees.

Recognize birthdays

It might seem like a small token gesture, but recognizing each employee’s birthday can have a real impact. A card and a cake or small gift can be a nice way to give thanks and remind each employee that they are appreciated on a personal level.

One-on-one lunches

Recognizing employees by taking them out to lunch and getting to know them can have a powerful impact. Just asking about their life, their plans for the weekend and their interests can make an employee feel more connected to their boss and more appreciated as a person. These one-on-one lunches don’t have to be rewards; they can be regular events. Taking a few notes after these lunches can help a manager stay connected to their employees down the road.

An important point: Given the current conversations about sexual misconduct in the workplace, these lunches should maintain a professional air and happen in a public place.

Support career development

While free food and gifts are good ways to recognize employees, their impact has a limited shelf life. Career development opportunities, on the other hand, can have a long-lasting impact on a person.

A recognition program should include supporting employee efforts to continue their education, gain new skills and network with other professionals. Offering career development opportunities also shows a high degree of trust, implying that management trusts employees not to use these opportunities to leave the company.

More empowerment

Empowering an employee by giving them greater responsibility or autonomy is a powerful way to recognize personal achievement. Empowerment can be as big as a promotion or as small as asking for input on a new initiative.

Not only is empowering employees a great way to recognize good work, it’s also a smart way to leverage the talents of top performers.

At Cornerstone, we fully support all the employee recognition and engagement initiatives of our clients. If your organization is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner, please contact us today to find out how we can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *