When a line manager says THANK YOU to an employee, the ripple effect of the positive affirmation will be felt for a significant amount of time. Not only does the person giving the recognition feel positive about the person who has done a good job and the person receiving the recognition feel appreciated, those around will want a piece of that cake too!
Recognition should be timely, frequent, consistent, specific and visible. The largest generation represented within the UK workforce at present, the Millennials, are the first generation born into a world built on instant gratification. Amazon and Argos allow same day delivery, order clothes from Next at 9.55pm to have them delivered the next day. Pose a question of your network on a social media platform and receive 100 responses in minutes. Ask Alexa and you get an immediate reply- she’ll even order it for you! There is no need to wait for anything. And when waiting is required, the reflection on the service is that delivery was poor. So why wait for an annual awards ceremony to say THANK YOU? The team member will have long ago forgotten the effort and input required to achieve a goal or target. Recognition must be given in a timely fashion and frequently so that the emotions surrounding the achievement of a task are still fresh and in front of mind.
Recognition should be frequent and consistent. However, this does not mean that it should be scheduled to the point where it becomes structured, one of the jobs that have to be done- worst of all, part of a tick list. What it does means is that recognition should be given wherever and whenever it is deserved. As soon as it is deserved. And if one team member is recognised for achieving a goal, the next employee to hit that target must also be recognised. Of course, members of the same team can- and should, have different goals and targets, but this is where rewards come into play. In terms of those all-important thank yous, all people are created equal.
Recognising those up the chain of command is also vitally important. A line-manager focused on providing a positive team environment where peer-to-peer recognition is intrinsic to the culture of the business, who regularly openly recognises their team, but receives no feedback or recognition for a job well done, will soon become de-motivated and withdrawn. Stephen Covey describes these interactions in terms of an emotional bank account. We can all pay out of the bank account (giving praise) but sometimes, we also need a deposit to stay afloat. The top line management are often forgotten in a business- expected to provide all the recognition but never being recognised for their own input. Although difficult to engender, actually, recognition up-the-line, when encouraged, will provide the team member with the confidence to speak out at that level on a number of topics. Perhaps they will bring forward an idea for your business that will be revolutionary- save time, make your organisation more effective, or save significant costs. Win-win!
Top Tips for giving Recognition
Recognition in terms of a thank you for a job well done is great. But will only be a small ripple. Instead, consider following a strategy when providing feedback:
Firstly, tell the employee thank you for the job well done. Next, tell the employee why the action that they have carried out has been recognised and what it means to you and/ or your business. Next, point out the ripple effect of that action and what the bottom line outcome of their input is. Finally, say thank you again and show your appreciation. By following these steps, those around the employee being recognised will also understand the steps that the employee has taken and the effect of their actions, rather than just seeing that their team member has been thanked for something. The team member will see themselves not just as a worker, but as someone whose actions have a fundamental effect on the bottom line of the business. Additionally, when the whole team knows specifically what you are grateful for and why, actions will be replicated. The recognised team member will repeat the good work- possibly even improving further and those around will aspire to the level set.
The Supporting Statistics
- 78% of employees would work harder if they were better recognised.
- 90% of employees say that recognition from a line manager positively impacts their engagement with work.
- A combination of peer to peer and top-down recognition is 35% more likely than top-down recognition alone to have a positive financial impact on the business.
- Businesses with a recognition programme that effectively improves employee engagement have a 31% lower voluntary staff turnover rate.
If you are considering a recognition platform for your business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free, no-obligation demonstration of our app based, peer-to-peer rewards and recognition platform.