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The Benefits of Employee Recognition

You'd have a hard time finding anyone who doesn't like being recognized for his/her work. Some people might not like public recognition, but any form of recognition is critical to employee retention. That's because motivation comes from both internal and external factors. People are motivated by their own desire for success and appreciation can fuel that motivation even more.

Importance of Employee Recognition

People have a fundamental need to be valued and appreciated. High turnover of employees occurs when they don't feel acknowledged for their contribution. Companies with low employee retention pay for it in terms of money and time, as well as suffering from loss of productivity and poor performance.

When You Should Recognize Employees

It can be difficult to know when to recognize and praise employees. Should you do it all the time or now and again? Should you praise only individuals or the entire team?

Employee recognition should be reserved for a person or team that has gone above and beyond normal expectations. Needless to say, it's important to clearly communicate what "normal" expectations entail. Someone who constantly pitches good ideas, meets deadlines early, works harmoniously with others, or exceeds any kind of benchmark (sales or otherwise) deserves recognition.

6 Best Employee Recognition Ideas

You might think an obvious increase in salary would do the trick, but you'd be surprised; people like receiving sincere thanks more than something tangible. Plus, a salary increase is not a feasible idea since it only happens once or twice a year, while employee recognition is something that should be constant.

Sincere compliments, when done properly, are worth their weight in gold. When you reward your employees, be sure to follow these simple rules:

1. An increasingly popular form of employee recognition is awards.

Receiving an award has a visceral emotion. Receiving an award makes us feel significant (which is one of our 6 psychological needs). Additionally, an award can be placed on the employee's desk which acts as a constant reminder of what they can expect when they work hard and produce results. Custom awards can be created in glass, crystal or acrylic.

2. Thank the person by his/her name.

People respond to their own names positively and fondly. It also reminds them they're not just some cogs in the wheel.

3. Be specific with what you're recognizing them for.

Generic "thanks" or a pat on the back can be patronizing. Tie the recognition to specific actions. This helps employees determine what they're doing well and what they can improve on. Tying the recognition to a business goal also reinforces the company's vision and makes it more meaningful to them. Feeling "connected" to the company's mission is one of the best employee retention strategies.

4. Personalize.

Everyone is different; some people don't like to be recognized publicly, while others do. It's more meaningful to find out what employees value and customize recognition for each of them.

5. Celebrate anniversary milestones.

In the market where job-hopping is common, someone growing with the company for a number of years is significant.

6. Make it official.

For truly extraordinary accomplishments, official acknowledgment should be placed in an employee's file.

Financial incentives are great. In reality however, people crave something deeper, like positive feedback and recognition for their efforts. Employee recognition doesn't have to be costly Need more ideas? We can help. Visit to learn more.