The Language of Recognition – Understanding Its Benefits and Rewards

Guest Written by Johanna Cider. 

Every worker wants to feel appreciated for a job well done. Providing employee recognition is a key driver of workplace motivation. Recognition inspires employees to work harder, be more engaged and produce better work. But in a diverse workplace with different personalities, it’s crucial for managers to provide the right type of recognition for each employee. People have different preferences in how they’d like to receive feedback, be managed, and be recognized. The challenge is to understand these preferences and discover which forms of recognition are most meaningful and impactful. 

There are many ways for managers to show recognition to their employees. Below are a few known strategies that will help boost employee motivation and performance in the workplace. 

Provide Words of Encouragement

Some employees value words of encouragement more than anything else. Sending out a handwritten thank-you note or thoughtful email is an easy way to show employees that you appreciate their hard work. If employees prefer verbal recognition, taking the time to thank them in person will be more meaningful. 

As long as your words are sincere and specific to the individual, they will have a deep impact. By genuinely expressing your gratitude, you can show them that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Providing regular words of encouragement will keep your employees motivated on a regular basis. 

Offer Tangible Rewards.

While words of encouragement are powerful, they alone aren’t enough to reward your employees. Offering tangible rewards is a great way to really show employees that hard work pays off. The reward could be as luxurious as a getaway or vacation, or as simple a celebratory team lunch. Either way, the idea of a reward will entice employees to keep working hard. 

That being said, managers must always be careful to be fair when it comes to giving out tangible rewards. Your rewards should always be extended to the whole team, and aligned with your company’s values and overall mission. 

Provide More Control

Many employees begin to lose motivation once their job becomes stagnant. If they see no hope for change or growth, they won’t feel inspired to work hard. Managers can help challenge employees by offering more control in the work they do. 

An example would be to assign an employee task about their skill level, telling them that you believe in their abilities because of their recent accomplishments whilst offering hep and support whenever needed. This will ultimately boost their confidence, improve their skills and foster further growth. 

Show Employees their Impact 

Employees want to see for themselves that they are going a good job. While words of encouragement and tangible rewards are great forms of validation, sometimes employees want visual evidence that they are making a difference. 

One way to do this would be to put them in a position where they can hear directly from their target audience. Hearing positive feedback in this way will show them that their time and effort was well spent. 

Spend Time With Your Employees 

Getting to know your employees is an important part of being a leader. Most employees appreciate leaders who show a genuine interest in them, as this shows that you value them as individuals and recognize their contributions to the company. You could reward your team with new office furniture, or build an inviting, comfortable space for socializing and taking breaks

Socializing with your employees also gives you the opportunity to stay well informed about your team and offer coaching where needed. Managers who spend more time with their employees can ultimately have a positive impact on employee retention. The more connected you are to you team, the more invested they will be in the company. 

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