We get up and go to work every day for a paycheck, right? Maybe not. Recent research from Salesforce.com found that it is not always all about the money when it comes to careers. Nearly 80 percent of employees said that recognition in their careers is a more important motivator.
In fact, 78 percent of employees say it is the main motivating factor in their careers. But there is a discrepancy between what employees want for their hard work and what they receive. A Profiles International survey found that only 56 percent of employees said that they are recognized often for their contributions to workplace successes. This is unfortunate because recognition is an easy and effective approach to motivating employees. There are a number of ways you can recognize your employees’ hard work. Whichever option you chose, keep these tips in mind as a guide:
1) Recognition should be direct and specific. The best way to motivate your employees through recognition is to be clear about what action you are praising. General praises such as “you always work so hard” and “good work this week” are nice, but do not let employees know which actions to continue. Recognize which specific action was impressive and how it contributed to improving the company’s bottom line. Here is an example:
“Karen, I am so impressed with how you dealt with that upset customer yesterday. You did a great job of calming her down so you could explain why her package was delayed. You were definitely the reason she did not cancel her order. Great job!”
2) Recognition should be sincere. Do not rush to implement employee recognition programs without considering why employee recognition is important. The purpose of employee recognition is to motivate employees and show them that you appreciate them. It is not a task to check off of a list. When you attempt to implement widespread employee recognition into your company in a rush, it can come off as canned and insincere.
3) Recognition should be accompanied by a benefit or reward. Tying some type of reward to recognition is a great tactic for motivating your employees to continue their hard work. These rewards do not necessarily have to be cash bonuses or raises. Here are a few ideas:
- Paid day off after a long project
- Free lunch in the company cafeteria
- A week to work from home
The best way to figure out which non-salary related rewards motivate your employees is to get to know them. What gets them excited? Remember these things when it comes time to recognize and reward their efforts.
4) Recognition should be personalized. You cannot motivate every employee with the same approach to employee recognition. Some employees may love being recognized in public. Others are mortified by the idea. This is where knowing your employees becomes helpful. Build relationships with your team members so you know their personalities and the best ways to praise them.
5) Recognition should be everyone’s responsibility. All of the responsibility for motivating employees cannot fall on executives and managers. Employees must take it upon themselves to recognize their co-workers for a job well done too. Praise from both of these groups is necessary. Praise from executives lets employees know how their work contributes to the overall goals of the organization. Co-workers, on the other hand, work closely with employees. Praise from them is important because they can acknowledge the daily sacrifices your employees make.
6) Recognition should be simple. It is not a show. You do not need to put too much planning or thought into how you will recognize someone. The real work comes in keeping your eyes open for people who are working hard and accomplishing great things. After that, a department-wide e-mail or mention during a conference call will do the trick. Remember, recognition should come off as sincere and natural.
Employee recognition is one of the most effective ways to motivate employees. Employees are motivated to work hard for companies that appreciate and acknowledge their contributions. Get to know your employees to find out what rewards and types of praise motivate them to work hard.
How do you motivate your employees?