The average employee switches jobs about every two years. Oftentimes, those moves are great for the employee or the company, but there is an irreplaceable value in retaining employees and building a foundation in an organization.
Here are five simple ideas for employee recognition, many of which can be applied to remote or in-office teams.
Invest in them
Investing in an employee’s personal development can be done in many ways. Industry specific retreats or conferences, continued education tools (personality assessments, books, etc.), having team learning days where you focus on growth as a whole team.
Some people question whether this should be an expense for the team member or the organization. Consider this quote from Henry Ford: “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”
When your employees succeed, your company succeeds, too. Consider creating incentives that reward your employees and motivate them toward excellence. When your employees share in the company’s financial success, you’ll see a higher level of engagement and motivation (profit share).
Other ways to reward employees and show them you care about them is to take them to lunch to celebrate accomplishments, or celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and other milestones.
This is most effective when done with the understanding of their personality and what motivates them. One size DOES NOT fit all here. Some people value an encouraging note much more than a shout out in a staff meeting. Others may prefer an individual, “Thank you.”
The key here is to be specific. If someone doesn’t know what they’re being recognized for, or praised for, it will be a short-lived burst of gratitude and leave them unlikely to continue improving in a specific way.
Asking your team for feedback is one of the best ways to recognize their contributions and show them that their manager and organization trusts them. Your employees will often have better ideas than you! Hopefully you’ve surrounded yourself with people smarter than yourself (and if you haven’t, then it may be time to think about who’s on your team).
People like to give their input, so it’s important to create an environment where they feel comfortable to do that. Ask your team what they think can be done better, by you, the organization, and their team. Listen to their thoughts, and respond in a way that makes them feel heard.
Asking your team isn’t enough. To truly let you team know how valuable they are, empower them. Creating unnecessary and clunky chains of command for every decision slows down progress on individual projects and your business’s overall growth. Encourage an environment where mistakes are okay (as long as something is learned along the way) and where your employees feel safe to take chances and try something new.
Another way to empower your team is by not micro-managing them. Holding your employees accountable for goals and commitments is different than being an overbearing manager who dictates when, where, and how employees work. Allow your employees the space to work in a way that maximizes their productivity. This will lead to increased happiness for them and more success for your business.
Employee Happiness Matters
No one wants to feel appreciated, and that includes your employees who work hard for you every day. The last thing you want is to lose a good employee who may just quit before admitting they’re actually unhappy. At the end of the day, happier employees will mean a happier, more profitable business. So be sure to make room in your schedule for employee recognition — it just may transform your business.
Hopefully these ideas will help you find ways to recognize your team and keep them engaged. Have a really good idea for how to recognize employees? Let us know! We love to hear your suggestions, and we’re always open to trying something new.