Nobody wants their hard work to go unnoticed. It's demotivating, anxiety-inducing and inevitably leads to employees feeling undervalued. This is especially true as more organizations make the shift to hybrid and remote models where there is little workplace interaction. While a quick "thank you" is a good gesture to start, employees deserve more than perfunctory praise for their diligence and dedication – and they know it.
As The Great Resignation continues into 2022, employers find themselves in an increasingly competitive labor market. With 79% of employees reporting a lack of appreciation as a major reason for leaving their jobs, employee recognition has never been more critical to a company's retention strategy. But how can managers and leaders show that they value their employees?
5 best practices for employee recognition
Retaining your top talent starts by fostering a company culture where employees feel acknowledged and accepted as part of the work community. That means that both company leaders and fellow colleagues play a vital role in supporting their peers. To help your organization generate this positive atmosphere, here are a few ways you can show meaningful appreciation of your employees:
- Express your appreciation regularly. While this might be the most obvious item on the list, it remains the most important and, oftentimes, the most overlooked. Whether you're a manager or a CEO, you should regularly congratulate your employees on their performance. On a more consistent basis, providing your employees with kind, constructive feedback can boost their moods and motivate them to work harder.
- Be open to feedback. When workers feel like they don't have anywhere to turn to resolve their problems, they're more likely to abandon ship. Managers and other leaders should have an open-door policy for employees to provide feedback on the work environment. Additionally, they should regularly check in with individual team members to see areas where the company might be able to improve.
- Encourage peer-to-peer recognition. As Forbes puts it, "a strong culture takes a community." That means that your employees should feel a sense of belonging where they work. Peer-to-peer recognition provides a supportive environment where employees show appreciation for their colleagues in addition to managers and leaders.
- Host company-wide events. Events are an excellent way to get the whole company together for a fun time. These can be hosted as rewards for meeting quarterly goals or as team-building exercises to encourage a sense of community. If you can find the time to schedule these during working hours, employees will appreciate the trust you have in them to complete their work on time.
- Don't be afraid to show off your employees. When an employee demonstrates advanced skills or delivers exceptional work products, you can give them a shout-out at work or on social media platforms. Include the highlights of their work and maybe a personal anecdote for others who might not know them. You can also express your gratitude on birthdays or service anniversaries.
If you're looking for an empathetic leader to manage your employee retention strategy, YES Partners can help. We've successfully matched thousands of qualified candidates with vital roles. Click here to see just some of the positions we have placed.
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