Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rise, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.
Fairness, clarity, and consistency are important in employee recognition. People need to see that each person who makes the same or a similar contribution has an equal likelihood of receiving recognition for her efforts.
When a person performs positively, provide recognition and a thank you immediately. Since it’s likely the employee is already feeling good about their performance then your timely recognition of them will enhance the positive feelings. This, in turn, positively affects the employee’s confidence in their ability to do well at work.
Remember that employee recognition is personal. Each person has a preference for what they find rewarding and how that recognition is most effective for them. One person may enjoy public recognition at a staff meeting whilst another prefers a private note in their personnel file. The best way to determine what an employee finds rewarding is to ask.
Use the many opportunities for employee recognition that are available. In the workplace, people place too much emphasis on money as the only form of employee appreciation. While salary, bonuses, and benefits can be instrumental in your employee recognition and reward system – after all, most of us do work for money – think more broadly about your opportunities to provide employee recognition.
Here are some suggestions you could employ to recognise your staff achievements.
- Raise something your employee has done well. Identify the specific actions that you found admirable. This praise feels sincere since you took the time to spell out details, not just, “well done”. You also emphasise the actions that you’d like to see the employee do more often and everybody benefits when people experience clear direction.
- Say thank you. Show your appreciation for their hard work and contributions and don’t forget to say please often as well. Social niceties do belong at work and a more gracious, polite, civilised workplace is appreciated by all.
- Ask your employees about their important interests, and remember them! Questions and acknowledgements about their family, their hobby, their weekend or a special event they attended are always welcome. Your genuine interest, as opposed to being nosey, causes people to feel valued and cared about. Demonstrate this interest regularly by asking personal questions about information and events you gleaned in earlier conversations.
- Offer staff members flexible scheduling for their holidays, if possible. If work coverage is critical, post a calendar so people can balance their time off with that of their colleagues. (A flexible work schedule is a benefit that employees look for all the time.)
- Almost everyone appreciates food. As well as the annual Christmas meal together surprise them, say after a successful tournament.
- Create fun traditions for holidays and events: Secret Santa, gift grab sweepstakes, birthday biscuits etc.
- Provide opportunity. Most employees want chances for training and cross-training. They want to participate on a special committee where their talents are noticed. They like to attend professional association meetings and represent your golf club at events like trade sponsored days. Do you currently have only your committee and senior management attending these events? Spread the opportunity to your employees. They will genuinely appreciate the gesture.
Finally, are you, as a manager, appreciated by the golf club? If not then bring your committee on board with a programme of employee appreciation and perhaps that will precipitate the inclusion of the manager in any recognition.