The foundation of a productive work environment is trust, respect, and open communication. But none of that matters if your employees don’t feel like they’re recognized for a job well done. It is absolutely vital to show employees appreciation. In fact, a top reason why workers enjoy their jobs is that they are appreciated by their employers. The more appreciation a worker receives, the happier he or she generally is, and the more motivated they are to work harder. If employees aren’t recognized for a job well done, they’ll quickly lose motivation, stop trying their hardest, and will likely eventually quit.

Having good relationships with leaders is also a major reason why employees feel that way. The rewards of appreciation are enormous, so it should definitely be implemented. There are, however, variations among the methods of recognition and appreciation.

Employee appreciation must be implemented in a unique way that’s specific to each employee in order to be as effective as possible. One-size-fits-all approaches to appreciation simply do not work. Rather than creating genuine care and appreciation for their employees, organizations often undergo generic Recognition in order to make themselves look good. However, Recognition done the wrong way can actually do more harm than good. How you choose to deliver Recognition is very often what makes the difference between whether it’s appreciated or not.

How to Administer Recognition The Right Way

Why Is Recognition Often Unsuccessful?

An effective employee recognition program can boost productivity, reduce turnover, improve customer satisfaction, and even reduce tardiness and absenteeism. In most companies, employee recognition programs are used, but they are not always implemented as effectively as they should. Although organizations mean well, they are not often implemented in a sincere way.

What makes so many Recognition attempts unsuccessful and insincere? Most recognition attempts seem forced. Every employee has to participate regardless of their interests. Most of the time, recognition efforts are driven by organizations. In other words, it usually comes from high-ranking individuals who have no relationship with the recipient. There is a further issue here. In Recognition, groups or leaders who are not close to their employees typically communicate their Recognition in an impersonal manner. Oftentimes, employees are averse to praise and rewards that are presented in front of all their coworkers. The recipient should be able to choose the way they wish to receive Recognition. This is a critical component of recognition success.

Another problem is generic Recognition. Constantly sending Christmas cards to the same staff or recognizing them in the same impersonal manner won’t do anything to improve employee morale. As a form of employee recognition, many companies distribute gifts like generic gift cards. Is that something that would make you feel special?

In addition, Recognition is often mistaken for being fake, with many employees believing it is inauthentic or as though the organization isn’t sincere. Additionally, leaders often recognize employees with verbal praise, but this is not the preferred method of praise for most employees. It is much more common for employees to receive Recognition by seeing it instead of hearing it. The majority of praise situations are marked by action and tangible proof rather than words. A generic gift card or reward is often preferred by employees over an offer of advice, guidance, or assistance. The employee, as well as the job they do, benefits enormously from it, as it shows caring and devotion from leadership.

Rewards are a key component of almost every employee recognition program. Researchers found that fewer than 10 percent of employees want tangible rewards as a form of Recognition. As far as tangible gifts as a means of expressing gratitude go, they seem to be on the decline. Even though a lot of people enjoy receiving gifts, they aren’t appreciated as much if they are not accompanied by sincere words, quality time, or assistance.

How to Improve Your Employee Recognition

Knowing how to not recognize your staff is great, but how can you rectify the problem? Actually, it’s very simple, just focus on the places that weren’t mentioned. It may be impossible to control people’s perceptions but having genuine and authentic communication with others is key to having Recognition taken seriously and having the desired impact. We recommend that organizations take a hard look at their employee appreciation activities and find out what their employees think about them. To improve your recognition program, you need to determine what your employees think about it. Check to see if you are fostering recognition practices that your employees aren’t enjoying.

You need to understand what you’re doing wrong in the first place before you can move forward with how you recognize and appreciate your employees. You might want to administer a survey or ask workers how they would like to be recognized. You may be surprised by the responses. Leadership also requires getting to know each employee personally so they can avoid rewarding employees in a way that they don’t appreciate. Employees who are quieter and more introverted might be mortified to receive Recognition in front of a large group of co-workers. The benefits of this acknowledgement aren’t as positive as you might anticipate. Instead, it may even provoke retaliation, causing a staff member to feel vulnerable, embarrassed, and defensive.

Don’t be afraid to recognize employees in a personalized, individual manner, so that their preferences are respected. It is very important to acknowledge your employees, but if you do so generically, it likely won’t have the effect you want it to. Your employees will be able to perform better, engage more effectively, and be more productive in their work when recognized the right way. In fact, if you fail to recognize and show your appreciation appropriately, you’re only doing yourself, your company, and your employees a disservice. When you give Recognition that appears to be insincere, disingenuous, or impersonal, you might actually cause more harm than good.

Get your performance system started

Complete this short form to get the process started.