The Lowest-Cost Employee Engagement Program

Employee recognition lets workers know that their contributions are appreciated and valued, and they are because after all, great employees could be working for someone else. Think about the last time you praised an employee.

Can you remember?

Lack of recognition remains one of the top reasons employees quit. Praising and thanking employees for a job well done has been proven to engage employees, and better employee engagement drives better business results. Fortunately, if you think this might be an issue for your company, employee recognition is an easy and low-cost problem to solve.

One way you can do this is to make employee praise and recognition part of your weekly routine. We’ve done this at Hireology and it’s surprisingly simple: we’ve built the infrastructure on our intranet using Google Sites and Google Forms to collect  “Core Value Shout-Outs”. The shout-outs are gathered anonymously and we announce them in front of the team in our weekly company all-hands. I’ve pulled some examples from our meeting this week:

Core Value Name What’s the reason for the shout-out?
Create Wow Moments Jorie Our customer gave Jorie rave reviews during a product feedback call. They couldn’t say enough good things about her customer service and positive attitude. Way to delight the customer!
Eager to Improve Isaac Isaac identified and deleted seven thousand lines of old, unused code from our account management interfaces!

With this simple tactic, we’ve created a culture of recognition at Hireology and in addition, this exercise helps makes our company core values real for our team — they are not just words on a wall. This is an easy, no-cost, impactful way to recognize employees and everyone in your company can participate.

However, who the recognition comes from is also important, often that means it should come from a manager or senior leader. Here are a few tips for managers to recognize employees effectively:

Praise early and often. Don’t wait to recognize an employee until the end of the day, quarter, year; praise means the most when it’s received soon after a job well done. And of course, there is no limit to employee recognition, but make sure you know how your employee prefers to be recognized so that it’s personally meaningful to them. Does that mean you write them a thank you note or thank them publically in front of the company? If you’re not sure what they’d prefer, just ask.

Be specific. Generic thank yous and compliments are nice, but you’ll get the best results by giving specific, individualized recognition about what your employee did well. You’ll reinforce the effort if you can tell them exactly how they impressed you.

Be democratic. Often, your top performers will continue to be top performers, but you might just push an employee to new heights when you praise someone who really needs the boost. Additionally, every good employee deserves praise, be sure you’re recognizing each team member’s contributions on an individual level.

As a lack of employee recognition is the number one reason people leave jobs, you can’t afford to not to praise your employees. The good news: it’s the lowest-cost program of any employee engagement effort and can be implemented easily. Use these steps and tactics to see employee engagement skyrocket, lower your employee attrition, and improve your team’s results.

So, how will you recognize an employee today?