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4 Ways to Maximize an Employee Recognition Program & Drive Results

Rachel Reed
8/5/21 8:52 AM

Shifts in the workplace can easily disrupt the strong and positive cycle of recognition, employee engagement, productivity, and innovation. Whether that's a shift in remote work policies, a big business win, or a shifts to hiring. 

Employees who are often and genuinely recognized are more productive, more engaged, and more likely to share helpful and innovative ideas that can impact the bottom line - particularly during extended periods of uncertainty.

Consider ending meetings (especially virtual) with recognitions. It doesn't have to be every meeting or even every week, but use recognition to wrap up regularly-held meetings. Bonuses or cash incentives as a carrot-stick approach often fail to address in-the-moment stress employees face. Affirmative and encouraging words can create instant motivation and drive instant results. 

Understand employee expectations (because they are changing). Health and wellness (physical, mental, and financial) became priorities at the start of the pandemic. Employee expectations were evolving even before the pandemic, but the sudden shift to remote work among other economic factors accelerated the change. Workers are reconsidering everything from who they want to work for—with 40% of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year. Get to know where employees stand on the changing employment landscape and consider a few shifts in communication. Consider building employee recognition into your employer brand to keep your best around and attract quality, motivated talent. 

Recognize people for random or unrelated achievements. While a recognition system, built with organizational values and managerial accountability, is important, sporadic and organic moments of recognition carry a huge impact. The element of surprise is enough to shake up monotony and provide an otherwise overwhelmed employee with a jolt of purpose and confidence.

Make recognition available everywhere. Choose an employee recognition system that allows quick recognition to happen easily. For example, if using Microsoft Teams or Slack to communicate daily, choose a provider that integrates. Typing a message and adding a few points can change the course of an employee's week. 

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