13 Way To Get Recognition Right

69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized.

So now you know how important is the reward and recognition are toward a company.

When starting to think about implementing a reward and recognition program, consider these tips:

Identify What To Recognize

Recognition doesn’t start with “who” you want to recognize, but rather “what” you want to recognize. What behaviors and actions are you looking for? What would you love to see employees doing more?

You want rewards to be based on behaviors and actions – rather than titles and departments.

Remember, you’re trying to incentivize people to do their best work and making it consistent so they continue to do so in the future.

Make It Timely

Time is one of the most important factors to consider when rewarding and recognizing employees. Immediate recognition gives employees instant feedback to guide them right away. The more time that passes between the performance and the recognition, the lower the impact of that recognition.


Do It Often

People want to be recognized often. They crave it. That means you need to be finding ways – even if they’re small and unique – to recognize your employees often to reassure them they’re heading in the right direction and to keep going.

Recognizing your employees often is the best way to make sure they continue to feel valued day after day. You never know when they’re in particular need of recognition, so keep it coming!

Most employees want some type of recognition every seven days!


Make It Genuine

Recognition has to be real, genuine, and authentic. It can’t be an automated email that’s sent to your employees every seven days. If you want it to make an impact, it’s got to be done right. It doesn’t have to be a plaque or something official; it can be a sincere “Thank You.”


Personalize It

Consider personalities and characteristics before deciding the best method to use with each employee. Some people are phobic of being in front of large groups. Others are attention-addicts and love the spotlight. It requires a lot of thoughtfulness and understanding to know how to best motivate and inspire each other.

You don’t have to shift an entire program to accommodate one person, but you can consider each team or individual’s unique needs to make sure you’re recognizing them effectively. The employees always love it, of course, because it feels good to be recognized and was customized to them.


Make It Collaborative

Collaborative work yields high results. Recognition can be collaborative as well. People who are recognized will see the value in it and can pass praise along to other employees.

Everyone can have an impact; everyone can be a leader. Praise – whether it comes from a leader or a coworker – affects others and can even start a movement. A company’s culture will incorporate it and employees will do it out of habit.


Make It A Habit

Consistently recognizing others and encouraging them to recognize within your team will not only help leaders make it a habit, but will also inspire others to do it.

First, start small. Be mindful of what others are doing to contribute – and thank them. Let them know you notice. Leaders and employees will automatically start looking for places where they can call someone out on great work.

Of course, over time, this can become a habit to employees as well. It could become a movement! Continue to put your focus on employee recognition and make an effort day after day, and recognition will ripple throughout your company.


Be Transparent About It

Transparency can enhance recognition tenfold. Recognition motivates those being recognized to do even better work in the future, but it also shows other employees what behaviors and performances are important to the company and worth being recognized.

Let everyone celebrate in that person’s success and more people will follow in their footsteps.


Be Fair

Evaluating people fairly when deciding on the details of recognition is important. Don’t always be focusing recognition on the same people. Make sure to look for the hidden heroes whose roles might not be as obvious but who are doing great, quality work.

Find people who truly deserve the recognition and make the recognition meaningful. This shows you care about all your employees and helps significantly with retention.


Don’t Forget Your Remote Workforce

Your remote employees need recognition as much as your in-office employees do. Just because they’re out of sight doesn’t mean they should be out of mind. Remote workforces are growing all over the world and they need to be considered when planning a reward and recognition program.

Using recognition and rewards makes a clear link from a remote worker’s role to the overarching company goals.


Get Creative

Being creative is one of the most rewarding parts of implementing a reward and recognition program. It’s not actually about how much money you spend; it’s about having fun and letting people know you care about their contributions.

When giving rewards to an individual, do the research and find out what will be the most meaningful. Find out what makes a team tick if you’re rewarding a team. It can be any number of things when unique individuals and groups are involved.


Keep Recognition And Criticism Separate

The goal of recognition is to make your people feel valued. So even though feedback can be helpful – and necessary – you shouldn’t lump recognition in with criticism. Many people have had a meeting with a smiling boss who says they’re doing great and then proceeds to spend the rest of the meeting criticizing them for something they’d done or aren’t doing correctly. This makes positive feedback feel absolutely meaningless.

If you lump together the good and the bad, employees will feel that you don’t really value the good performance and all the focus will be on what they need to do better.

Make sure you set aside a separate time to tackle what can still be improved to guide in the right direction. But when it’s time to recognize, go ahead and put it on center stage.


Reward The Right Things

Reward and recognition should align with your company’s mission and values. Be careful what you’re rewarding and where the focus is.

Make sure your rewards align with your mission, vision, goals, and values. If you don’t know exactly what those are, that’s a great place to start. Then you know to reward and recognize the right things. You don’t want to send people in the wrong direction. So really think about it: Do the behaviors you reward and recognize support your mission?


Nearly half of all employees said they would leave their employer for a company that recognized employees for their contributions.