Jill Christensen
Jill ChristensenAuthor Blogger
Jill Christensen is a guest blogger for EmpowerPoints, an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth by re-engaging employees. Jill’s Website | LinkedIn Profile

Strategies’ is one of the top three most Googled employee engagement search terms.  I have uncovered four powerful strategies to re-engage employees, so each week in September we’ll dive deep into one of them. This week’s focus?  Recognition.  Why?  Because when you get this right, you increase trust in leadership and the emotional connection that employees feel to your organization.

Reward and recognition programs created to motivate employees actually have an overall deficit in employee motivation.  If you only reward high performers or if you reward everyone regardless of their results, many are left feeling punished.

There is nothing more effective in the workplace than a sincere “thank you” for a job well done.  People want to be acknowledged and feel appreciated … it’s one of the greatest human needs and it will re-engage your employees.

Do employees like organization-branded swag?  Yes.  However, an organization-branded coffee mug is not going to make an employee trust leaders and feel an emotional commitment to your company; feeling acknowledged and appreciated will.

Give away all the organization-branded coffee mugs you like once you have a recognition program in place that engages employees.  Employees value the appreciation and admiration of colleagues and superiors, and want recognition for their good work.  Therefore, your recognition program must enable any employee to recognize any other employee.

In addition, the recognition must be timely, sincere, and include specific information about what behaviors or actions are being rewarded.  Some ideas for your employee recognition program include:

  • Thank You Cards that list your Values and enable a person to check the Value the recipient demonstrated. When a person gives away a card, their name is put in a Lunch drawing.
  • “Wall of Fame” or “Wall of Honor” Wall where you post your Values Thank You Cards
  • Take your entire team off-site to work
  • Rotating trophy
  • Begin every meeting and daily huddle with recognition
  • Standing ovation as a new hire wraps up their first day
  • Celebrate every project completion
  • Company recognition day or once a month dedicate a day to recognize an a department or business unit
  • Leave a gift card and a hand-written thank you note or Post-It on an employee’s chair (or via mail)
  • Spot bonuses for major accomplishments
  • Shout out on Social Media
  • Conduct Random Acts of Fun
  • Gamification tools that offer points and badges for great work.

WHAT CAN I DO?  In addition to these ideas, don’t forget that technology can help you fast-track your journey to creating an amazing culture.  So, check out EmpowerPoints and discover how you can see an amazing ROE (Return on Engagement)!