Everyone knows how important performance management is but what sometimes gets overlooked or doesn’t get as much attention as a part of performance management program is a recognition strategy. Whether you have a written recognition strategy or it’s more of an informal plan, it’s a good idea to revisit it to see if it hits the key points below and if it’s still applicable to the current workforce and culture. Ask yourself the following questions to check on how your current recognition strategy is doing and what adjustment, if any, may need to be made:
Are you being specific and timely? In recognizing employees, your strategy should always be precise, personal, and impactful with what is being said. Be authentic – employees will be able to tell if you are being authentic or not, so remember to be genuine with your words. Also, think about how often you’re recognizing employees. We recommend at least one recognition per employee per month as a minimum.
Is your strategy to be inclusive and transparent? Everyone should be recognized…ALL shifts, ALL departments, ALL employees…everyone. Do managers and employees understand the recognition process? It’s important to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the program.
Are you recognizing employees within the flow of work/as it happens? Give that specific recognition right when you notice behavior/actions that you’d love to see again. Recognizing someone soon after they do excellent work will better reinforce the behavior. For remote employees, that might mean using a platform such as Slack or Teams to recognize them.
Is your strategy tailored to employees and their individuality? Not everyone wants a golf hat, or their photo on a bulletin board or a “wall of fame”, and they may not want to be recognized in front of everyone or on social media. Showing that you understand the workforce and what makes them comfortable in their workspace, shows that you are listening to them, and you value and appreciate them.
Are you seeing success? What are the metrics telling you? Has attendance improved? Are absences less frequent? Is turnover improving? Have OSHA recordable incidents decreased? Are you seeing longer tenure in the workforce? If you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to send out an Engagement Survey to get input from the workforce. Take advantage of engagement surveys to find out what’s working and what is not. And if you get little to no responses – that in and of itself is a response worth looking into!
Everyone – no matter who they are within an organization – wants to be authentically validated in the work they do. Recognition is that low hanging fruit to create better engagement, resiliency, and productivity within your place of business. Check in with your current recognition strategy and see where there might be some needed room for improvement. And feel free to change things up. The strategy that worked last year, might not be what you all need this year to get employees re-engaged in helping your organization exceed its goals.
It’s never too late to start thinking about some specific and authentic ways to let employees know you appreciate them! Need some suggestions? Reach out us, we are happy to help!