(Time to read this important Blog article is about 2 minutes)

Employee engagement is one of the hottest topics in business today…and so it should be.  Extensive surveys by Gallup Research show that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and a staggeringly low 13% worldwide are engaged

Gallup’s research also shows that 70% of employee engagement is related to their direct boss’s management style.  And ‘recognition’ by their boss is a big factor.  So, below are my ‘7 recognition tips’ that might be helpful…

  1.  A “Thank you.”  every day. You can’t get more simple than this.  We learned to say ‘thank you’ when we were kids…but so often forget it as bosses.  Research shows that one of the biggest reasons that people stop trying in any job (including the job of ‘spouse’) is that they believe they don’t make a difference.  But, if you got ‘thanked’ every day, how could you ever believe that you don’t make a difference.  People never get tired of hearing a sincere ‘Thank you’.
  2. Celebrations. Create a culture of celebration.  Look for any business or human reason to celebrate a new customer signed up, a commitment met, a birthday or engagement.  Whether it’s an award, a plaque, a party or just ordering pizza for the Team on Friday, celebrate!  
  3.  A special experience for an individual, or the Team. This is sort of a celebration on steroids.  It could be concert tickets, a special activity or adventure.  One of our recent clients takes his management, supervisory and sales Team for a 3-day adventure after each annual Sales Meeting.  This year, the destination was a fabulous fishing lodge that these folks would typically never get to on their own.  Since the client is in the outdoor adventure gear industry, the lodge experience was a perfect fit.  The better the fit, the more powerful the acknowledgement.

    If a project at work keeps your employees away from their family for an extended period, tickets for a special night out for them and their spouse, or for the entire family, is a great way to get the family back on side with their spouse…and with you.       

  1. Reward and honor spouses, partners and family also. If a work assignment takes a staff member away from their spouse, partner or family for a period of time, make it up to them by giving them a gift certificate for a fancy dinner, weekend away or some other activity that will make you and your staff member a ‘hero’ with the family. 
  2. A promotion or job title.  Both of these recognize an employee’s effective contribution. Just make sure that you don’t promote someone to a position for which they’re not suited or properly trained.   That’s a career ‘death sentence’…not a recognition or reward.   This is a huge problem in many businesses. 
  3. A bonus or a raise. Clearly, a bonus or raise is a welcome recognition of effective performance or increased responsibility.  Bonuses should always be tied to specific commitments being met or exceeded.  For example, most ‘Christmas Bonuses’ are not performance bonuses and should be called what they really are…a Christmas gift.
     
    Beware…a tiny, insignificant raise can be an insult, not a recognition.  A very capable friend of mine recently quit his job when, after 5 years, was given a 10 cent an hour raise.
     
    So, there you have it.  Six ways to recognize and reward your team.  Which of these will you be sure to implement?  If you’ve discovered other ways to recognize and reward that have worked in your business, we’d love to hear from you.
About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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