Guest Post! Pay It Forward: Three Steps Towards Enjoyable Employee Recognition


Let’s skip the hand-holding and get straight to the point: employee recognition matters!

Sure, your employee’s will know that their hard work is worth the effort when holiday bonuses and raises make their rounds but there are so many “unofficial” ways to encourage your employees during the other eleven months of the year.

The best part: you can skip the public embarrassment and store bought cakes that get consumed around the proverbial water cooler.

Genuine employee recognition is simply a combination of:
Sincere compliments and feedback
Timely responses
A small way to express your gratitude (written letters, tiny gifts, etc.)

1. Employee Recognition Starts on Day One

Studies show that the first thirty days of employment are crucial if you want to set the right tone with your newly hired staff member. While they are organizing their desk and getting a lay of the land, let them know that you appreciate their extra work by taking time to get to know them and by introducing them to like-minded team members.

As fun welcome, consider printing off a small flyer that other employees can sign. Pin it to their desk before their arrival. Make sure to end their first month of employment with a thank you letter. It will certainly make a difference.

2. Make Employee Recognition “Social”
These days it is hard to find a company that does not have some sort of presence on a social networking site.

Let your social networking capabilities pull triple-duty as both a place to launch announcements, perform team building activities and show your employee appreciation.

Has one of your employees finished their first marathon? Had a child? Done an excellent job on a recent project? Posting encouragement let’s your employees know that you take an active interest in their life. It also lets your customers know that your business is both personal and professional.

Step Three: Awards Beyond the Wall
Skip the awkward “employee of the month” photo and opt for personal awards that are both funny and endearing. Consider giving awards for members that are helpful, cheerful, caffeinated, informed, or just plain ridiculous.

Is there a member that always knows how to fix the copy machine? Post a “First Responder” award on their chair. It’s an easy laugh and a cost-effective way to let someone know when they go beyond the call of duty.

Many companies opt for designated “appreciation days.” Obviously, every day (even very specific days) are good days to tell someone that they are doing a good job. However, employee appreciation does not have to be time-consuming or expensive.

Consider this: plaques are packed up and stored away after retirement or a job-change but daily reminders that are packed with honesty and intention create a work environment that is remembered for a lifetime.

Is there a company that you have worked with or for that has done a particularly good job recognizing and encouraging their employees?

Jeffrey Fermin is Officevibe’s cofounder and is in charge of all marketing efforts and business development for the company. Jeff has the pleasure of engaging with the Officevibe community where he talks, tweets and blogs about company culture and employee engagement. Reach him @JeffFermin 

Jeff Fermin
Director Of Good Vibes

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