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5 Things to Know About Employee Recognition in 2021

December 14, 2020

you are appreciated - remote work

There are a lot of reasons to look forward to 2021.  Who’s not ready to put 2020 behind us and start a new chapter?  Many organizations have asked more of their employees this year, and showing appreciation can energize your group and activate a shared purpose going into next year.  On the other hand, failing to do so can demoralize your team and lead to retention problems in the future.  Terryberry shares their top 5 things to know about employee recognition in 2021.
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The effects COVID-19 has had on employee recognition

Employees are struggling with uncertainty at work and increased isolation among other challenges related to the pandemic.  In a Terryberry poll from this summer, HR leaders indicated that recognition is more important than ever, but also more difficult today.  In some organizations, recognition programs were not equipped for the rapid shift to large-scale remote working.  Another survey from November reinforced this. Over a third (35%) of surveyed HR professionals said the biggest challenge with recognizing remote workers is administrative logistics and program limitations.
A well-known quote says,

“Encouraged people achieve the best; Dominated people achieve the second best; Neglected people achieve the least.”

Most leaders don’t intend to neglect their people, but it’s important to note that social distance and remote working have changed the game. It takes more intentional effort on the part of leaders to be encouraging their teams.

Find new ways for employee recognition to take place

Terryberry recommends that organizations commit to connection and encouragement. It starts at the top with company leadership.  When leaders set an example of showing concern for employees’ wellbeing and creating space for connecting, the attitude usually spreads throughout the organization.  The next step is to create infrastructure and opportunities for recognition to take place.
>Provide a recognition platform and training on how to use it.
>Take time in meetings for appreciation.
>Practice listening with compassion and kindness. Remember many are struggling.
>Feed your recognition platform with the good things happening in your organization:

Milestones and major accomplishments
customer feedback
bright ideas
personal events (birthdays, wedding, baby, etc)

Create accessible infrastructure for recognition organization-wide

An organization-wide infrastructure has become a requirement in the post-covid era.  A central system is the best way to ensure that the attitudes, behaviors and contributions that your organization values are consistently recognized.  When you’re looking at recognition programs, consider options that supports formal, informal and day-to-day recognition. Mobile app integration is also a crucial feature today so that employees can access the program from wherever they are.

How staff empowerment impacts your recognition culture

It’s so important for employees to feel they have a voice in your organization. How can your recognition program support this?  Here are a few thoughts:
Create organization-wide visibility – who’s being recognized and why
Give employees’ access to individual recognition profile – see their awards and history
Give employees a voice to and means recognize co-workers for contributions

Consider virtual recognition events

Terryberry polled organizations to identify employee recognition trends and how they are handling recognition events during COVID.  45% say they have moved to a virtual event.  A third of respondents had postponed or canceled their event and sent awards to employees’ homes. Experts say that recognition still matters, so as you consider how to manage your recognition events, be sure to find ways to connect with employees and communicate that they are valued.  If you’re considering a virtual event, check out Terryberry’s new ebook: 5 Ways to Ensure Your Virtual Recognition Event is Meaningful and this video with highlights for virtual recognition events.


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