Do your employees feel recognized for their work?

A recent survey revealed 74 percent of employees plan to switch jobs in 2018 and 44 percent cited lack of recognition and engagement as the reason. That’s a bummer, and it’s something that we can fix.

There are a lot of opportunities in the work day to recognize employees and improve employee engagement. Let’s think through one best practice followed by organizations with engaged teams: Put your employees front and center.

Consider Everyone Who Should Be Recognized

The Individual

Don’t just address your workforce as an assembly of names. Personalize your recognition for each individual’s interests, concerns, goals and life. A rewards and recognition program that offers customizable portals and a wide range of different exchanges is a built-in way to acknowledge that recognition is personal.

Small Teams

Small teams are like families with enormous influence over the broader work culture. Your rewards and recognition platform should offer ways for them to recognize each other, whether though peer-to-peer recognition or team leaders recognizing the broader team. Continuous recognition should be encouraged and no one should be left out. Whether an employee works in your office or remotely, it’s important to recognize every individual for a job well done.

Gig and Freelance Workers

Given the rising percentage of freelancers, contractors, and other non-employee workers in the talent ecosystem, a rewards and recognition system should also provide you with the option of including every type of worker. Extending recognition to outside the organizational walls brings employees together, increases engagement, and strengthens the workforce community.

Make Employee Recognition a Priority

Even if you’re making plans to recognize all of the groups above, you can run into blind spots and inconsistencies that will derail your employee recognition program.

Here’s an example we saw recently: We were working with an organization’s HR department that had left rewards up to the discretion of managers. And those managers had very different notions of what recognition and rewards meant. There was no centralized criteria about what warranted praise or recognition. The performance data wasn’t comprehensive, which led managers to overlook certain performers because their contributions weren’t included in the overall data set.

The company decided to make the shift to an automated recognition and engagement platform that could create a lot more data but also incorporate every employee. The new platform created a matrix based on the entire workforce, then broke it down into departments, hubs and teams. It even created an automatic calendar for periodic recognition and feedback.

The most fascinating discovery was the immense impact recognition had on the lackluster and less-than-visible performers. When the light was finally shining on them, they all started to bloom, and performance, productivity and all the other KPIs began to rise.

Since the implementation of the company’s new recognition and engagement program, employees have been staying in their jobs longer, requesting less internal moves to other departments, and the managers themselves are far more involved in the recognition process.

Rule of thumb: Validate every single employee and make them all feel like they’re important to your organization through frequent recognition.

Want to learn more about how to effectively recognize employees? Join us for our webinar, 7 Ways Rewards and Recognition Connect Engagement and Business Goals, on March 15, 2018 at 1pm Eastern. Register here.

This post is sponsored by Achievers.

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