Creating a culture of recognition is critical in today's work environment. Recognition makes us feel valued and appreciated - like our unique talents are contributing something meaningful to the world.
But effective recognition does more than just make us feel good. Recognition is also correlated with higher employee retention, increased employee engagement, and it encourages an overall higher performance.
In short, effective recognition is a win/win for companies and employees.
Actually creating a culture of recognition and celebration, however, takes purposeful initiatives. In fact, it's not uncommon for leaders to feel as though they are sufficiently recognising the individuals on their team, while employees feel the opposite.
So how can companies build a culture that leaves people feeling valued and improves the employee experience as a whole?
Try these 5 tips for how to create a culture of recognition.
1. Give Specific and Authentic Recognition Often
When a team member goes above and beyond, it's expected that leaders will say thank you or tell them they're "awesome" or doing "great work." And while a thank you never hurts, it's not particularly meaningful.
Instead, take a moment to consider what this employee did that was impactful.
Did they work calmly under pressure? Did they help another team member? Maybe they had a great idea?
Whatever they did, acknowledge it specifically. Thank them for it, and tell them how it benefited the bigger picture. Because recognition matters to the vast majority of people, chances are that your employee will feel appreciated and will want to go above and beyond again in the future.
2. Take an interest
Your employees all have lives outside of the office. You may know that, but caring about it is what matters.
Ask your employees about what TV shows they're watching, what hobbies they enjoy, where they're going (or would like to go) on vacation. Anything can be an area of connection.
You may also find that someone is going through a difficult time in their personal life. Knowing this will allow you to give more patience and understanding when minor hiccups occur.
It will likely also take some pressure off your employee to "keep up appearances." Allowing your team to simply be human can make a world of difference.
Don't forget to follow up too. Checking in regularly will undoubtedly make your employees feel like you care about them as a whole person and not just an employee.
RELATED: How to Create an Employee Recognition Program
3. Give Undivided Attention
It may sound obvious, but when you're meeting with employees, be present.
This means, be on time (or acknowledge when you're late), don't take phone calls or text excessively. By being distracted in meetings, your employee will likely feel like they're taking you away from something more important.
Simply offering someone your time and attention is one of the simplest ways to show someone that you value them.
4. Invest in a Recognition Program
If you have an employee recognition budget in place, consider investing in a recognition program. There are all kinds of programs available to help build recognition into your company's culture. Ours is the Terryberry 360 platform.
The Terryberry 360 Recognition Platform offers a comprehensive solution that can host your recognition efforts, including milestone and service awards, peer-to-peer social recognition, feedback and communication, and performance and incentive rewards.
This platform is a great way to help in creating a culture of recognition by empowering employees (as well as leaders) to recognise each other.
5. Keep it Up
While you're starting out, try setting daily reminders to give someone on your team recognition. Once you get used to looking for these opportunities, you'll start seeing them more often.
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback as well. Avoid the pitfall of thinking your recognition tactics are effective by simply asking your team what matters most to them.
It's important to remember that building a culture of appreciation won't happen overnight. It will take time for these values to be adopted and integrated seamlessly, but this is one change that's undoubtedly worth the wait.
Interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from a recognition program? Schedule a demo of Terryberry's 360 Recognition Platform today.