Imagine that you have been put in charge of conducting a study to find what motivates a group of employees. You ask them what makes them more engaged with their work and offer two choices: money or recognition in the workplace. You might be inclined to think that money is the bigger motivator. However, in a recent national research survey conducted by oGoLead—a leadership training firm—results indicated otherwise. In fact, 60% of employees surveyed reported being far more motivated by recognition over monetary compensation.
In that same research study, a whopping 82% of employees surveyed felt that their supervisor does not recognize them for their work. That means that only 18% feel valued and seen in their workplace. Employees feeling invisible and undervalued are not employees who will stick around for long. Study after study shows that rarely do people leave jobs—they leave managers and supervisors who do not appreciate them.
How can we recognize our employees, then, to the best of our ability? How can we ensure that our people are seen, heard, and appreciated?
When an employee goes above and beyond, take the time to celebrate that accomplishment! Give a shout-out. This might be a section of a meeting where you publicly congratulate your employee for their job well done. Or, even less obtrusive, this might be in an e-mail blast or memo. This accomplishes two things: One, it shows that you have taken note and recognized that specific employee for their hard work; Two, it can help motivate and inspire your team. After all, they want to be recognized, too!
Of course, you know your team better than anyone. While Employee A might thrive in the spotlight, getting all that public attention might be Employee B’s worst nightmare. Recognize the differences in your employees. Maybe take Employee B out for a lunch or purchase them a fancy coffee. A little something to show your recognition can go a long way.
There are many, many ways to recognize your employees without resorting to monetary compensation. For instance, you can use professional and personal development opportunities to show that not only do you appreciate their hard work, but you also appreciate their personal lives. This might mean sponsoring an employee in a continuing education class or facilitating an opportunity to attend a conference. Get to know your team, and soon you will be able to narrow in on their passion-projects and learn more about them as a person—not just your employee.
Well, let loose within reason. This is still a business, after all! But if your team has been rising to the occasion with flair and gusto, take the time to loosen the reins a little bit. This might take a few different forms. Perhaps a Casual Friday policy is in order or allowing employees to work an afternoon a week from home. Recognizing hard work with some fun is a great way to validate your employees and let them relax a little bit.
Have you ever heard that saying about how everything we need to know in life we learned in Kindergarten? There’s something to that statement! A little thank you can go a long way. The best way to make employees feel recognized, validated, and seen is to take the time to communicate with them and say thanks for the hard work. Keep it authentic and coming from the heart. And here’s the thing: the more you see and recognize your employees, the more they will see and recognize you in turn. Through this spirit of collaboration, you can turn your place of business into a thriving community.
Looking to recognize and see your employees more clearly this September? Leadership Delta is here to help! Contact us today.