6 tips for successful employee acknowledgement

employee acknowledgement

Employee acknowledgement is a great way to keep your workers engaged – and employee engagement is essential to the success of any business. After all, engaged employees are more productive, and that translates to greater profits for the companies itself.

We recently offered low-budget ways to engage your employees. Today, we’re going a little deeper into one simple tactic: acknowledging your employees.

This can do wonders for your company. According to a recent study, companies with employee recognition programs are 12 times more likely to produce strong business results. When Delta, for example, launched an employee recognition program and studied the results through a web-based platform, its ROI was 564 per cent.

But here’s the challenge: there’s an art to employee acknowledgement. Read on for six tips on delivering employee acknowledgement at your company.

Remember the essentials

Leadership development coach David Haldorsen recently explained the two key ingredients of any employee recognition program. First, it must happen immediately. For employee recognition to have the greatest impact, you need to offer it within 10 minutes of when the work has been done. The old-fashioned Employee of the Month awards don’t mean much these days because the recognition comes so long after the fact.

Second, it must be authentic. An insincere compliment is almost as bad as an outright insult, and that applies to employee recognition too. Whenever, and however, you acknowledge the work your employees do, you have to be open, honest, and sincere.

Speak the right language

Not all employees will respond to acknowledgement in the same way. Some people might enjoy being the centre of attention when you call them out for public praise in front of their peers, but other people might be put off by such a display. Tailor your approach to each individual’s language of recognition so your praise doesn’t backfire.

Ask for feedback

Giving feedback is, of course, useful for helping your employees. But asking for their feedback can have positive results as well. Ask for their thoughts on the direction the company is taking, or how a current project is progressing. This acknowledges them by showing that you value their work, but you also care about their opinions and insights and hope to find fresh ideas in them.

Don’t dwell on rewards

Studies have shown that immediate, genuine praise of a job well done can be as effective as a cash reward. That’s the power of effective acknowledgement. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with handing out gift cards or cash bonuses when appropriate, but just be aware that sometimes a few sincere words given face-to-face, or in the form of a personalized letter, can go much further than a few dollars.

Show interest in your teams’ development

Showing an interest in an employee’s hobbies, personal projects, and professional development is another useful strategy in boosting employee acknowledgement. When you show interest in someone else, it makes them more interested in you. That can translate to greater loyalty to the company, and greater productivity.

Pay attention to who is giving the acknowledgement

Finally, for recognition to be effective it has to come from someone that the employee wants to receive recognition from. It won’t mean much if it comes from someone who they don’t report to directly, or someone from a completely different department. Make sure that recognition comes from someone who the employee wants to impress such as their direct supervisor, or, if you really want to wow them, the company CEO or president.

When it comes to acknowledging your employees’ hard work, there is no one-size-fits-all technique that can work for anyone. But keeping these guidelines in mind can ensure that your employee acknowledgement program runs as smoothly as possible.

See also:
5 ways to inspire and motivate your employees
5 science-backed tips for a more productive workplace


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