When you hear the words “cheap and easy”, you might not automatically think of rewarding and recognizing the folks on your team. However, that’s exactly what your employee recognition program should be: an affordable, habitual pattern. While there is value to an occasional blow-out celebration, your employees will feel just as appreciated with frequent, small reminders that they are important. Take a look at some of these super-simple ways to show appreciation to your employees and improve workplace culture.
- Encourage them to earn recognition by focusing on a specific behavioral change needed to support The Great Game rather than on the end incentive. Do this by creating a clear focus on the goal that is directly connected to the behavior. The most successful way to achieve focus is through playing MiniGames™ – which teach a lesson while changing a behavior and offering a reward. This will provide more sustainable results—and more fun.
- Post a recognition board in a prominent place to identify employees who make a significant contribution or demonstrate a desired cultural trait. Be sure you not only name the employee, but also what they did to earn recognition. This will help their peers understand what kind of contributions is valued.
- Peer recognition can also be a powerful source of motivation. Encourage all employees to communicate with supervisors when they see a co-workers go above and beyond. Consider adding a special section to the recognition board (mentioned above) that tracks who within your organization is doing the recognizing.
- Never underestimate the power of praise and positive reinforcement. A compliment from a superior can be the brightest part of an employee’s day. Make a habit of giving sincere recognition to employees often. But do remember, some employees prefer a more private compliment as opposed to public praise. To help learn how each of your individual employees prefer to be recognized, consider having them fill an employee profile. Review it and keep it on file so you can easily provide rewards and praise that are meaningful to the individual employee.
- Forget the cash! A cash reward tends to be forgotten quickly as it often gets mixed in with everyday spending money. A tangible and meaningful reward will create a positive memory and reinforce the win.
- Reinforce the line of sight between employees’ actions and their reward each time an incentive is earned. Reviewing everyone’s contributions to the end goal and establishing what reaching that goal means for the whole team will make the actions and the reward more meaningful.
It’s important to understand that no matter what method you choose to recognize your team or individual team members, the best rewards are memorable and personal. The extra effort you put into your rewards and recognition program will pay off. Great Game practitioners never cease to amaze us with their innovative ideas for recognizing employees. What has worked for your company? Let us know in the comments below!
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