Thanksgiving reminds us of what’s truly important and meaningful in our lives. As a leader at your company, you’re probably grateful for good employees.
October is the perfect time of year to remember that employees who receive recognition from their supervisors have higher morale, are more engaged, produce higher-quality work, and generally make the workplace both happier and more productive. Here are five staff management principles to consider for employee recognition, whatever field you are in!
1. Pay it forward
During the years you spent working up to your current position, you reported to any number of managers. Chances are you remember one or two of them specifically because their staff management tactics told you without any doubt they were grateful for you and your work. Maybe they spent an extra few minutes talking with you every week. Maybe they thanked you in person rather than by email. Maybe they threw you a party when you got engaged. Whatever it was, you remember them for it. Think about the things your favourite managers did to recognize you and make you feel great, and start (or continue) doing those things for your team.
2. Think inside – and outside – the wallet
Make sure you’re compensating staff for their contributions. In a Robert Half survey, executives and workers agreed inadequate salary and benefits is the primary reason good employees quit their jobs. In addition to attractive starting compensation, annual and spot bonuses can be powerful motivators.
Don’t assume that paying your employees more is the best or only form of recognition, though. Cash bonuses and gifts tend to motivate employees only for a short time. Consider balancing monetary rewards with other perks and benefits like offering flexible hours, sponsoring a career development conference, class or retreat, taking over a least-favourite project or even getting them a more comfortable office chair.
3. Let everyone know
What’s even better than letting employees know you appreciate their work? Telling the whole office. The positive effects of employee recognition multiply exponentially when you praise individuals publicly. Consider sending staff-wide congratulatory emails, mentioning top performers in the company newsletter and holding meetings where you tell employees, one by one, what they’re doing well.
4. Put it in writing
Why not write frequent thank-you notes to employees? This personalized approach offers an effective way to express gratitude, especially if you write notes by hand and tailor your messages to each employee’s achievements and efforts. The employees who get these notes are more likely to remember you as a great boss for years to come.
5. Have fun
Employee recognition doesn’t have to be a chore. Think about throwing a party for your employees (the holidays are coming up!). Take them out of the office just for the fun of it, or create a game where everyone gets recognized. You can even ask all your employees to join you in recognizing each other. As you get more creative with these ideas, there’s more opportunity for everyone to feel appreciated.