Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people, it is important for the success of your organization.

According to the University of Washington, “Many studies on the work place have shown that being recognized for achievements, knowing that one’s contributions matter to the organization, and the opportunity for growth and professional development have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction and commitment.”

Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works

According to Cindy Ventrice, author of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works, “Regardless of the economy, you need to keep your best people and keep them engaged. The best way to do this is by developing a culture based on meaningful recognition. Did you know that the companies that attract and keep great employees typically have over 70 percent employee satisfaction with employee recognition?”

Recognition needs to be in line with behavior and accomplishments and must be meaningful, yet does not need to be expensive or time consuming. A simple thank you or a note of appreciation can go a long way to help employees feel valued.

The recognition must supply the employee with specific information about what behaviors or actions are being rewarded, and should occur as close to the behavior as possible. Although employees would love to hear “good job,” it will be more helpful if you spell out the behaviors that made it a good job. When you recognize employees effectively, you reinforce the behavior you want them to repeat.

Lauren Dixon, CEO of Dixon Schwabl stated she listens to what is important to her employees then when she comes across something she thinks would be of interest to them, she copies it and puts it on their desk with a note.

Often employees will come back to her and say, “How did you know I liked fly fishing?” because they forgot they told her. This does a number of things. The person feels valued as an individual and also heard.

The Great Places to Work that I have interviewed have interesting ways to recognize their employees.

Nixon-Peabody has formal as well as impromptu recognition methods, such as “The Above and Beyond Award” and “On the Spot” recognition.

Paychex has an employee recognition committee which rewards efforts with balloons with candy or gift card attached and an quarterly meeting in which teams are recognized with a huge banner with all the team member’s names on it.

Another opportunity to recognize employees by Dixon-Schwabl is done where the last minutes of the weekly organization-wide meeting is saved so employees can recognize other employees.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you recognized an employees or coworkers for something they have done well.

Ventrice, C., Employee Recognition that Works, www.maketheirday.com Used with permission.