Boosting employee morale: six secrets to getting recognition right
For many employees, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ can be very motivating but for some managers, shining a spotlight on excellence is a tricky task.
Saying thank you too often can come across as insincere, while saying it too seldom can lead to employees feeling underappreciated.
Employee engagement technology company, REFFIND, has identified six key ways to recognise great work in your organisation:
1. Be generous
A culture of appreciation boosts morale, so it’s better to be lavish than stingy with recognition. This means constantly being on the lookout for genuine reasons to praise people.
According to Jamie Pride, REFFIND managing director, “If you pay attention, you’ll notice the quiet little extras that people do every day, like changing the toner in the copier or making clients feel welcome in reception. These thoughtful little touches can contribute significantly to overall efficiency and performance, so it’s important to give recognition when it’s due.”
2. Be consistent
Not everyone excels at self-promotion, which means some people may do great work without being noticed.
Pride said, “You need to notice and thank everyone, not just the self-promoters. Overlooking someone’s contribution, especially if you praised someone else for the same thing last week, can be disappointing.”
3. Be timely
Don’t wait to thank people for their work: recognition usually has the most impact when it’s given immediately.
Pride said, “The longer you wait to thank someone, the more they may be wondering if anyone has even noticed their efforts. Praising them later may not dispel their feelings of disappointment. So as soon as the job is done, make sure they know you appreciate it.”
4. Be authentic
It’s important that any recognition given is appropriate and genuine, matching the scale of the employee’s effort.
Pride said, “If someone stayed at the office all weekend to finish an important project, then a simple thanks won’t cut it. If they emptied the paper shredder, then there’s no need to go over the top in your thanks. Be personal and real in your thanks and it will go a long way.”
5. Be specific
A generic ‘thanks’ rarely has a strong impact on the recipient, while specifically recognising their work not only feels more genuine, but it also reinforces behaviour.
Pride said, “If you can tie the employees work to a specific corporate goal, that’s perfect. But if you’re giving praise for something less tangible, you can still be specific.”
6. Be considerate
Some people love the spotlight while others thrive in the background. When thanking them, it’s important to take their preferences into consideration and communicate appreciation in a way that will be most meaningful to the recipient.
Pride said, “Using an employee recognition solution like REFFIND’s Embrace means you can either send a private message or you can post it on your company or team wall for all to see. Embrace also lets recognition flow in all directions, from managers to employees, from leaders to teams, and peer-to-peer. Thanks from your peers can mean even more than a manager’s message sometimes, especially if they are the ones who benefit most from the person’s efforts.
“Encouraging and facilitating thanks and recognition throughout your company can have a powerful impact on morale and overall employee performance. Using technology such as REFFIND’s Embrace, helps makes sure organisations don’t miss opportunities to thank employees, and can more easily share the successes and achievements of their teams.”
This article was contributed by REFFIND, a mobile employee experience platform based in Sydney.