The Importance of Employee Recognition and Appreciation
Every individual has an innate need to be valued and appreciated – and employees in the workplace are no different. Increasingly, studies show that, in today’s workplace, employees are eschewing higher salaries and perks, opting instead, to work for organisations where they are valued as assets and their efforts are duly recognised. Thus, employers who want to hire and retain the best and the brightest will need to fortify their employee recognition strategy.
You will be glad to know, employee recognition initiatives do not have to cost an arm and a leg to be effective! Instead, a truly sustainable strategy should focus on building a strong employee culture of appreciation.
Words of Affirmation
Verbal affirmation is an immediate and powerful way to encourage and motivate your teams. Understandably, the bulk of work conversations often focus on KPIs that need to be met, and areas for improvement. Including affirmation in your regular dialogue through written notes, one-on-one conversations and even in team meetings (depending on your organisational culture), can greatly change the tone of your conversations, making them more positive. Authentic affirmation can include praising positive characteristics and traits that embody your organisational values, as well as employees’ accomplishments in the workplace.
Take Action: Affirming one another needs to be everyone’s priority, rather than just management’s duty. To gently encourage this positive habit, set aside a quarterly Affirmation Day and provide employees with notepaper to pen down words of affirmation and encouragement for one another.
Most employees spend a significant portion of their days with colleagues, yet there may be little to no time for meaningful interaction between them as everyone is focused on their own deadlines and targets. Savvy business leaders recognise that fostering positive friendships in the workplace creates stronger team dynamics, sparks innovation and raises organisational performance as a whole. It is important to carve out time where employees can come together and have one another’s focused attention.
Take Action: Create opportunities for teams to meet on a regular basis. Empower team leaders to hold brainstorming meetings off-site, provide a budget for bi-annual team get-togethers, or even hold team gatherings where spouses and children are invited to mingle and spend time together.
Acts of Service
In some work situations, ‘actions speak louder than words’. For example team members may opt to spend additional hours in the workplace to help a colleague on a difficult project, or simply buy in a meal for the colleague working through lunch to meet a deadline. Demanding work schedules are a reality in today’s marketplace, and acts of service can play a prominent role in motivating employees to work through the busy seasons.
Take Action: True leaders practice servant leadership; placing the needs of the team above their own. Encourage line managers to lead by example in this area, by stepping up to help their teams when needed, during hectic work periods. Affirm these managers on their leadership skills when they do perform acts of service.
Building a positive culture of employee recognition and appreciation is a win-win proposition for the organisation and its employees. When staff feel valued, they will also be motivated and energized to reach higher and go further to meet organisational goals.
Copyright © 2016. Focus on the Family Singapore Ltd.
Learn how to foster a culture of appreciation in your workplace by running The 5 Languages of Appreciation talk for your team! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 6336 1444 today.