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How Do Employees Want to Be Recognized?


Peo­ple are exhaust­ed. They’re work­ing over­time and on the week­ends. They’re con­stant­ly pick­ing up shifts due to ill­ness or employ­ee turnover. The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has deliv­ered a crush­ing blow to morale, and employ­ers are wit­ness­ing astro­nom­i­cal lev­els of stress and burnout among their teams.

As a result, a stag­ger­ing 52% of employ­ees report that they’ll be look­ing for a new job in 2021. They feel their efforts and loy­al­ty are under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed and under­val­ued. They will not bear the bur­den of excess stress for orga­ni­za­tions that refuse to rec­og­nize them.

If com­pa­nies want to avoid los­ing team mem­bers, they must prove to their employ­ees that they care. When they do, they’ll see incred­i­ble results.

Recog­ni­tion is proven to have a pro­found pos­i­tive impact on com­pa­ny cul­ture, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. When team mem­bers feel rec­og­nized and val­ued, they work hard­er, col­lab­o­rate more and trust that their employ­ers will look after them in times of cri­sis. After 2020, job secu­ri­ty and finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty are more impor­tant than ever.

That’s why recog­ni­tion is so impor­tant. Peo­ple want to work for a com­pa­ny that will reward them for their efforts. They deserve to be appre­ci­at­ed for their time and ener­gy. And, frankly, there’s absolute­ly no rea­son to stay loy­al to a com­pa­ny that isn’t loy­al to them.

So, how can orga­ni­za­tions prove to their employ­ees that they are seen and valued?

Traditional Awards and Recognition

Annu­al and quar­ter­ly reviews aren’t enough. When an employ­ee is work­ing tire­less­ly and devot­ing a large por­tion of their life to an orga­ni­za­tion, they want to know that it means some­thing. No one wants to waste their time and ener­gy on a com­pa­ny that doesn’t treat them well.

That’s why com­pa­nies should con­sid­er incor­po­rat­ing var­i­ous forms of recognition.

Supervisor Recognition

This doesn’t have to be com­pli­cat­ed. Super­vi­sors can send a pri­vate con­grat­u­la­tions email to an employ­ee after they’ve hit a goal. They can take them out for cof­fee and talk about how impressed they are with their per­for­mance. What­ev­er the method, team lead­ers should pro­vide dai­ly feed­back, encour­age­ment and praise to their team members.

When a super­vi­sor rec­og­nizes an employ­ee, they feel val­i­dat­ed for their time and effort. This fos­ters a sense of trust with­in the orga­ni­za­tion and makes every­one feel com­fort­able and open to col­lab­o­ra­tion. Plus, when a team mem­ber feels val­ued, it rein­forces their sense of job security.

Recognizing Milestones

It’s essen­tial to rec­og­nize employ­ees when they’ve achieved a goal, but it’s also impor­tant to acknowl­edge oth­er mile­stones. Employ­ees want to be seen. Orga­ni­za­tions can show that they care by cel­e­brat­ing a team member’s birth­day or work anniversary.

Tak­ing the time to cel­e­brate these mile­stones demon­strates that they don’t just care about prof­it and loss reports. Employ­ees aren’t just num­bers on a spread­sheet. This kind of recog­ni­tion shows that they care about their employ­ees on an indi­vid­ual level.

Ditch Meaningless Recognition

On the top­ic of tra­di­tion­al recog­ni­tion, com­pa­nies should stop using things like com­mem­o­ra­tive plaques and stock tro­phies. These items are rarely cus­tomized to match an employ­ee’s per­son­al­i­ty, and they rarely have mean­ing. They are a low-effort form of recog­ni­tion — and employ­ees know that.

This extends to oth­er items, too, like pass­able stuffed ani­mals that serve as pseu­do-com­pa­ny mas­cots, shiny wrist­watch­es and gift cards to chain restau­rants. When it comes to show­ing recog­ni­tion, the thought only counts for so much. It has to mean something.

Plus, employ­ers assume too often that all peo­ple want the same things.

Private vs. Public Recognition

Orga­ni­za­tions must learn to com­mu­ni­cate with their peo­ple and find out how they want to be rec­og­nized. This is essen­tial because no two employ­ees are the same, and as such, they like­ly pre­fer dif­fer­ent forms of recognition.

Some employ­ees might love a pub­lic announce­ment in the mid­dle of the office con­grat­u­lat­ing them for an achieve­ment, and oth­ers might pre­fer a pri­vate email. Some peo­ple like to be the cen­ter of atten­tion, and oth­ers want to cel­e­brate achieve­ments with­out putting on a show.

If com­pa­nies want to build a sol­id and unbreak­able team, they must put in the time and effort to under­stand their employ­ees and rec­og­nize them on an indi­vid­ual and per­son­al­ized level.

Recognition Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All: Customization Is Key

Busi­ness­es will not suc­ceed with­out a loy­al and ded­i­cat­ed team. If the last year has proven any­thing, it’s that employ­ees will work tire­less­ly to keep a busi­ness alive.

So, how do com­pa­nies rec­og­nize the efforts of their employ­ees? They should stop using one-size-fits-all approach­es and open the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Once employ­ers start speak­ing to their employ­ees, they’ll begin to under­stand who they are and what they want.

Per­son­al­iza­tion is key. It’s eas­i­er to buy a mean­ing­ful gift for a friend than a stranger. If an orga­ni­za­tion wants to show its team mem­bers that they are val­ued, rec­og­nized and respect­ed, they must cater their approach to each indi­vid­ual. They must offer things that will actu­al­ly have an impact on their employ­ees’ lives.

Fringe’s plat­form is a great way to accom­plish that. It enables com­pa­nies to offer var­i­ous lifestyle ben­e­fit options with­out assum­ing that every­one wants the same thing.

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