HR 101: This is the Perfect Time to Recognize Your Employees

 The following are selections from the Humetrics blog.

Five keys to effective recognition

Praise and recognition are essential to successful management. People want to be respected and valued by others for their contributions. Everyone feels the need to be recognized as an individual or member of a group and to feel a sense of achievement for work well done — or even for a valiant effort. A “pat on the back” costs nothing, promotes employee retention, and makes both the giver and the receiver feel great.

Here are five ways to maximize the bang you get for your employee recognition buck:

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  1. Make it fun and/or funny: I love to give people a Beanie Baby eagle or turkey. (Both get a great response and it’s amazing how long they will keep them on their desk or pass them on to their coworkers.)
  2. Make it simple: It always amazes me what a gold star will get you. Just try putting one on an employee’s badge. Everyone wants a gold star.
  3. Make it personal: Forget the company key chain or hat; make sure it’s something they want or need.
  4. Make it timely: Do it as soon as you can after they do something great.
  5. Make it specific: Tell the person exactly what behavior or results they are being rewarded for so they keep it up and so your other employees know what you find praiseworthy and what behaviors they should strive to emulate.

Low-cost recognition ideas

The importance of acknowledging a job well done cannot be overemphasized. Here are a few relatively inexpensive ideas from OnShift.com about how you can say “keep up the great work” in a memorable way:

  • Donate to a charity of their choice: In the employee’s name, of course.
  • Volunteer with pay day: How about a paid day off to spend time volunteering with the charitable organization of their choice?
  • Party time: Throw a pizza party for employees who consistently go above and beyond.
  • Lottery tickets: Pass out lottery tickets at your next team meeting.
  • Gift cards: For movies, restaurants, etc.
  • Treat them to a meal: Take them to breakfast or lunch to congratulate them on their success!
  • Coffee on you for a week: Find out the type of coffee (or other beverage) they like and bring it to them at the start of their shift for a week.
  • A long lunch: Let your employee take an extra hour or two for lunch.
  • Queen/King for the day: Have Uber, Lyft, or a taxi take them to work and home at day’s end. When they arrive, give this person a paper crown to wear and deliver breakfast and/or lunch to their desk.
  • Car wash: Give out vouchers for a local car wash.
Mel Kleiman
Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.