There’s more to motivating employees than providing them with a paycheck. Millions of people earn paychecks at millions of jobs, but what can transform a person from an average employee into a motivated, engaged member of a team is an extra special incentive. For many people, that incentive stems from knowing that their contributions are valued and that their employers recognize how important they are for the continued success of the company.
Unfortunately, not enough companies understand this. They feature employee recognition programs that are based on tenure. Although employees certainly appreciate recognition in any form, these tenure-based recognition programs don’t work as well at motivating and engaging employees because they come too far after the effort should have been recognized.
An employee who has been with a company for 20 years certainly has been there that long because he or she has made many valuable contributions. However, employers must ask whether that employee could have accomplished more if he or she had been recognized for those contributions as they happened, rather than waiting for the next five-year milestone. In order to get the most out of an employee recognition program, employers and workplace professionals need to focus on congratulating employees for the little, everyday contributions as much as the major milestones.
There are many ways employers can do this without breaking the bank on bonuses or expensive gifts. For example, a “wall of fame” can recognize individual efforts and highlight team accomplishments without the need for any type of monetary or physical reward. A points system can be used to allow employees to earn special perks such as a longer lunch break or a special parking space. Even a simple “thank you” note left on an employee’s desk can be a powerful motivator that lets employees know they’re appreciated.
The accompanying guide contains numerous other ideas for employee recognition rewards that don’t have to be expensive. Any or all of them can be great ways to show employees that what they do is valued and appreciated.