Recognising employee achievements

Few things are more demoralising for an employee that having their hard work and success going unnoticed by their manager.

Recognising your employees’ achievements is an important way to keep them engaged, performing at their optimum level and going the extra mile. It can also help with retaining employees and put a stop to spurious absences and a high employee turnover.

How should you recognise employee achievements?

While some employees may crave public displays, others may find this very nerve-racking. Some of your employees may appreciate material prizes selected by you, while others may wish you would give them a choice.

The truth is that there isn’t just one way to acknowledge employee achievements. All organisations need to develop their own culture of recognition and ensure it is applied consistently across all teams.  

Here are some key things to consider:

Whether you conduct an annual survey, look at intranet discussions, carry out exit interviews or encourage an open door policy, feedback from your employees can help you understand how best to recognise achievements in your organisation. Employees can tell you directly what works and what doesn’t. This can shape your future strategy.

Having one to one meetings allows you to give praise for projects as they go along, rather than wait weeks to praise them in formal appraisal meetings. It also enables you to highlight when the employee is demonstrating excellent behaviours and attitudes and give them encouragement to pursue their objectives.

If you are going to hold prize giving ceremonies or use group meetings to announce individual and team successes, these meetings can be a good forum to let them know this is going to happen and for them to raise any concerns.

It’s not just up to managers to recognise individual successes, but also of everyone else in the organisation. Give employees the chance to nominate their colleagues for service awards or give them the tools to send their co-worker a thank you card. 

Managers should understand the importance of recognising employee achievements to boost engagement and motivation levels, but know how to do so without being accused of favouritism or causing frictions within the team for pointing one employee’s success and not another’s. Training can equip them with the skills they need to live up to the challenge.

Remember: Simple Gestures do work

In some cases, it may just be the case of stopping by someone’s desk and having a quick, informal chat through their latest win or the good job they have done on a specific project. Alternatively, it may be sending the employee a simple email highlighting what they have done and its impact, or putting in a special mention in the monthly newsletter. None of them take too much effort or time, but are great ways to make the employee feel valued and appreciated.

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

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