Guest post by Andre Janus
No doubt recognizing your employees is important, but doesn’t it seem like a daunting task sometimes? There are certificates to print, awards to order, special events to plan and more. When you hear that you should make employee recognition activities a daily priority, you might even cringe. How are you supposed to find the time, energy or money to award your top performers day after day?
It’s not as difficult or expensive as it might sound. In fact, many daily employee recognition activities don’t cost anything and won’t take up much time. That’s because the big idea behind daily employee recognition is to point out the little things that your team members do well. It’s all about celebrating the day-to-day stuff that adds up to big results in the long run. It’s also about pointing out the kinds of behaviors you’d like to see from all of your employees.
REWARDING BEVAVORS —> CULTURE
You can easily fit daily recognition activities into your bigger employee appreciation and recognition scheme. What types of big behaviors do you award? Simply find daily counterparts to those bigger behaviors, then prioritize recognizing them whenever you see them. Once you’ve made a commitment to incorporating employee appreciation into your daily business routine, don’t let up. You can use calendars and reminders to make sure that you’re meeting your daily recognition goals.
If you want to build a strong workplace culture where employees praise and support one another, you need to model that type of behavior from the top of your organization down. It means being proactive and using creative recognition ideas, but it also means doing some things right every day.
Take cues from these seven stress-free ways to recognize your most valuable employees.
1. ALWAYS ADDRESS YOUR EMPLOYEES BY NAME
It might seem simple, but calling your employees by name is incredibly powerful. Greet them when they first arrive at work in the morning, and be sure to address them by their names throughout the day. You’ll be letting employees know that you know who they are and that you care about them. It’s recognition in the most basic sense, and too many powerful executives have forgotten how important it is.
2. START THE DAY WITH AN INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
If you’re running a small startup, take the time to write an encouraging note to each of your employees every morning. If you’re running a larger company, ask managers in each of your departments to write such notes to their employees. You can share an inspirational quote from a big thinker or jot a few simple words. It’s the spirit of the note that matters.
3. CREATE A GOAL-BASED DAILY GAME
The most talented folks in your organization probably enjoy a little competition. You can leverage that by playing a daily or weekly game within your organization. Tie the game to a specific goal. You might give employees a point every time they make a sale or get a compliment from a client. At the end of the day, take a minute to recognize the winner. You might offer an extended lunch or extra break the following day too.
4. EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES TO RECOGNIZE ONE ANOTHER
Whether you use a software platform or a do-it-yourself solution, make sure that your employees can give praise to their peers. Peer-to-peer recognition matters a great deal to most professionals. Encouraging your employees to encourage one another is a simple way to ensure that recognition is being doled out on a daily basis too.
5. HIGHLIGHT PROGRESS ON A DEPARTMENT BOARD
It’s important to give your employees visuals that help them understand how their achievements are driving business success. Create a board where you can post company financials, pie charts and other visual aids that connect employee performance to organizational success. Encourage employees to spend time looking at the board and to ask about the data that you’ve posted.
6. CREATE A MENTORING MINUTE
Before you go home, pull an employee who had a great day into your office and thank that person for a job well done. Follow up by spending a few minutes talking about that employee’s professional goals. Provide targeted advice and connect valuable employees to helpful resources whenever you can. This kind of mentoring time can have huge dividends in the long run.
7. ACKNOWLEDGE AND PRAISE IDEAS THAT DIDN’T QUITE WORK
Not every business idea will work for your organization. That doesn’t mean that employee ideas that didn’t quite work out were bad ideas. If you notice that a team member came up with an innovative or helpful idea that your organization wasn’t able to use effectively, take a moment to thank that person. It will encourage your employees to keep thinking of great ideas for your organization.
Consistency is the key to effective employee recognition. Aim to accomplish at least one of these strategies on a daily basis for a week, then start incorporating other strategies as the weeks progress. Having plenty of recognition options keeps your program dynamic and ensures that it supports your bigger business goals.
Andre Janus is founder and mastermind of Cristaux International in Elk Grove Village/IL. Challenging industry standards, producing unique pieces and quality assuring are values that accompany Andre Janus during his daily tasks.