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Photo by {artist}/{collectionName} / Getty Images

A top reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. Yet the focus of many employee recognition programs is to reward employees for staying with the company. If your business only rewards employees every five years, you’re missing important opportunities. Consider five benefits of employee recognition, along with five ways to deliver it.

Benefits of Employee Recognition

  • Shows employees their work is valued and appreciated
  • Promotes loyalty to company goals and values
  • Promotes collaboration and teamwork
  • Encourages high-quality performance, ideas and innovation
  • Improves retention

Characteristics of an Effective Recognition Program

1.     Rewards performance

An effective employee recognition program goes beyond rewarding tenure. It’s important to reward outstanding customer service, effective problem solving and innovation—for individuals and teams.

2.     Relates recognition to company goals and values

An individual or team should be recognized for exceptional contributions that support company strategy. Remember that recognition doesn’t always require a monetary reward. “Thank you” awards have great value in letting employees know their contributions are appreciated. Regardless of the type of award presented, ensure it is:

  • Prompt
  • Specific
  • Sincere

3.     Includes peer-to-peer recognition

Recognition from leaders is important, but employees also want to feel appreciated by their co-workers. Involve your employees by implementing peer-to-peer recognition. This is especially useful and informative to managers who work remotely or in another office location, because peers see each other’s daily activity. How can you ensure the program is fair and effective?

  • Carefully define goals and guidelines
  • Involve your employees in developing it
  • Schedule regular evaluations of its effectiveness
  • Make updates and improvements

4.     Shares the stories

The stories can make receiving a company newsletter—or reading a company blog—more exciting and meaningful. It tells employees you value their contributions, you’re proud of them and their stories are worth being shared. It motivates other employees and promotes behaviors that support your work culture.

5.     Keeps it simple and frequent

It should be easy for managers and peers to recognize an employee. Establish an easy-to-use online system. Otherwise, your recognition program won’t be used much. A recognition program that requires layers and layers of approval discourages users and might send negative signals to employees. If your program has clearly defined goals and guidelines, why complicate it with a difficult submission process?

Many recognition programs aren’t regularly or fully utilized. Establish processes to monitor the use and effectiveness of your program. And tweak it as needed.

Are You in Need of Top Performers?

Even with a great recognition program, it can be a challenge to find top performers who will blend with company culture. At WSi, we can help. Whether you have short- or long-term staffing needs, our screening and interviewing processes will effectively match you with talented workers who can quickly become productive. Learn about the benefits of our flexible staffing solutions.