Other than being paid fairly, the second major “want” for employees is the need to feel valued and recognized for their skill-set and contributions they provide their organization.

We all want to be appreciated and recognized when we’ve done a good job. As a leader, we sometimes overlook this, or we may have good intentions but don’t make it a priority and it drops to the bottom of our “to do” list.

Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.
–Anne M. Mulcahy

Issues regarding providing recognition include:

  • Given too often
  • Given on a limited basis
  • Given inconsistently
  • Not linked to vision, mission and goals

Letting someone know they are valued can be done in a number of ways: it can be monetarily related, but given tight budgets recognition may also be provided via newsletters, town-halls, employee of the month certificates, cross training opportunities, delegation responsibilities, and simple verbal and written “thank-yous”.

One complaint we’ve heard in the past is being recognized for minimal contributions. People know when they or a peer deserve to be recognized; if the effort is negligible the reward is hollow and not meaningful.

We heard a story about someone being recognized as a key contributor and they had no idea what they had done that was considered “special.” This caused confusion and embarrassment when they were asked why they received the award. The intent is for the receiver of the reward to feel good about their contribution and bottom line, feel valued.

Another dissatisfier is providing recognition inconsistently. We recommend establishing criteria and reviewing team accomplishments on a monthly basis, or minimally, quarterly. True accomplishments will readily be linked to your vision, mission or goals enabling you to clearly state why the recognition is deserved.

We also suggest encouraging individuals to recognize each other at team meetings. This will assist you with being informed of contributions you may not have been aware of, and position you to more formally reward efforts that meet your criteria.

In a nutshell, consistently reward for value added, clearly state what that value was, and celebrate the successes of teams and individuals. Employees are your greatest asset!


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Did You Know?

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