10 Creative Ways To Recognize Employees
When people think of a company, they usually associate the company with a founder or the partners. The reality is that the employees are the ones that run the company day to day. The CEO is usually the one who gets the recognition for pushing the company forward and that is because the CEO is the brand ambassador. By taking the social risk of representing the company in all areas of life, the rewards come along with it.
To fully engage employees and make them feel like they want to push the company forward just like they the CEO, they need to be recognized. Humans have this need to be recognized and when they are, they perform better.
Recognition must be authentic for it to work. You can’t just pat people on the back and say way to go. You need to be thoughtful and specific. People are not stupid and they know if you are just placating them. Here are some creative ways to recognize your staff and keep them engaged.
Gratitude is very important. It makes us feel good by giving it and the person getting it feels appreciated. Make it a routine to thank your employees each month on a one on one basis. Use their first name and thank them for working in the company, for engaging in it and let them know that you know they have options and you are grateful they are with you on this journey. Do this for your direct reports and have them do it to theirs.
Writing a handwritten thank you note is a nice gesture, few people actually do it. We all know that we “should” write our employees notes with recognition but we don’t find the time. Here is a tip to make sure this happens, create a folder for each employee and start a note for each one. Don’t write what you are thanking them for yet but the note was started and it’s much easier to just finish the note at a later day. Do this 12 times for each employee and you will find ways to finish the hand written letter. “Dear Michael, I want to take a moment to thank you for…” write 12 of those and have them ready.
Buy tickets for your employees and give them out when they do something you appreciate. I like to buy scratch off tickets and give them out whenever I see someone do something nice, like take out the trash or close a deal or say something that was impressive. When handing them the ticket make sure to make eye contact and thank them for what they did.
Have a list of your employees favorite treats. Go to the grocery and buy them each what they love. Keep it in your drawer and give it to them randomly. They will see how much you care about them and will remember that forever.
Every person has something that they love to do. Some people love sports, others love music while there are those that like art. Find out what your employee loves and give them a gift that is aligned with their interest. Go on stubhub and find a ticket to get them to an event that they would love. Remember, they don’t need to go but the gesture shows that you really care about them and took the time to think about what they care about.
Birthdays are a special day and every employee loves to be recognized on their birthday. We used to buy a cake for each person on their birthday but when our company got too big, it became very difficult to do. Make sure that you have all your employee birthdays in your calendar and give them a call or walk over and wish them a happy birthday. Even if you do not throw a party, it will mean the world to them.
Take your employee out to lunch and get to know them. It doesn’t have to be more than half an hour once a year. Just asking them about their life, what they are up to and what they care about can make a person’s world come alive. Make sure to write down what you learned so you can review it in the future and mention it to them.
Buy your employee a plaque with their name engraved when they work for you for 1 year. Celebrate the milestone and they will feel amazing for it. Most companies do not have rituals like this. This might be the only plaque the person will ever get and they will cherish this forever.
People want to know that they are learning and growing constantly. Find out what your employee wants to learn about and buy them a course or class on a website like Udemy. There are classes about almost anything online. You can also buy them a book about their interests and write them a nice note in the front cover.
Create a special day for each person in the company. That is they day that everyone goes out of their way to do something nice for that person. If you have a small company you can do that a few times a year. People love to do nice things for other people and when you make it a company policy to do that for everyone, suddenly people are naturally more engaged. Imagine a grassroots effort going on in your company where employees are recognizing each other!
Hope these tips help you take your company to the next level. Employee engagement is directly correlated with a profit and the best way to engage employees is to give them clarity and recognition.
How do you recognize employees in your company? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
By Joe Apfelbaum. This was Originally published on Forbes.
Joe Apfelbaum, brings more than thirteen years to the online business, technology and marketing community. Serving as CEO and Co-Founder of Ajax Union, www.ajaxunion.com, he has been featured on Fox Business Network and Fox Business News and was selected by Google as a Certified Google Trainer. Today, Joe produces a weekly web series called GrowTime, where he teaches budding entrepreneurs about business, marketing, and technology. Using his humor and candor to address a wide range of topics that cover Online Marketing & Business Development including Search Engine Optimization; SEO, Pay-Per-Click; PPC, Social Media and Web Development, Joe has educated thousands to improve upon their business and online success. In his spare time, Joe loves spending time with his wife and three children.