Employees strive to perform well at work because they understand that it can be beneficial for them—they stand to receive praise, be acknowledged, and be distinguished as an important team member that can help the company take a step closer to its targeted results.

When workers are properly recognized for their efforts, they experience greater satisfaction and enjoyment in their work. They increase their productivity. They are more open and cooperative in demonstrating teamwork. They observe better safety measures, avoid absences, and show their loyalty to the company by staying for the long term.

Doing it Right

It can be confusing for managers, team leaders and HR practitioners to effectively facilitate employee recognition because employees may have different preferences as to the kind of acknowledgment they would like to receive. Some are happy to get gift certificates or a nice dinner with the boss; others would be much more motivated by trips to local or foreign destinations.

Whatever the desire may be, there is one concept that remains constant: Employees want to be recognized for going the extra mile for their organization.

So how can you be sure that you are truly able to meet their high-performing employees' basic need for sincere recognition? An incentive travel company offers four questions that can help guide you:

Do you treat employees as valued team members? It's all right to offer monetary rewards, but over time, this can lead employees to think that their efforts have a direct cash equivalent. Consider helping employees feel that they are valued players instead of a source of good numbers for the company.

Is the level of your recognition equivalent to the amount of effort and the results that the employee was able to attain? The scale and volume of your appreciation should be appropriate to the results and efforts from the employee. This ensures that the meaning of the recognition is not lost.

Are you conscious of the timeliness with which you offer praise or acknowledgment? When you hand out praises automatically, it eliminates the human aspect of acknowledging an employee's achievements. Be timely about giving the recognition, and make sure that you sincerely mean the praise.

Do you praise the employee's contributions to larger business goals or the organization's overall success? Employees will be more motivated when they are singled out as a team member that actually helps advance projects and attain results. It will make them truly feel that they are making a difference and creating a significant impact on the company’s initiatives.

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