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'Thanks for being on our team!’ 3 tips for building a culture of recognition.

'Thanks for being on our team!’ 3 tips for building a culture of recognition.

The Great Place to Work cycle of 2021 is coming to an end. The last Culture Audits are being analysed and the final Trust Index responses are being collected as we speak. Together with the certified companies, we are looking forward to the exciting announcement of the Best Workplaces 2021 in March. While analysing all results from different companies, we noticed that thanking has really been central this year. We’ve read about digital appreciation speeches, flowers and apero-boxes being delivered at the doorsteps of employees and many spontaneous small acts of kindness.

Why is this the perfect time to build a recognition culture?

Despite the obstacles that this year brought to us, many employees managed to take up the challenge and surprisingly hit their pre-pandemic objectives all while combining family responsibilities and many other stressors. That’s why today, as the digital nomad lifestyle unfortunately carries on, it’s critical for companies to create a culture of recognition to ensure employees stay engaged and continue to provide their deliverables.

3 tips for starting a recognition culture

1.Use recognitions that actually work

One of the main challenges related to employee appreciation is that leaders put a lot of hard work into building a recognition culture without being able to really impact the motivation or productivity of employees. That's because employee recognition is often arbitrary, generalized across the teams and relatively generic. So,what defines recognitions that actually work?

  • It has to be frequent as appreciation is a short-term need that must be met continuously.
  • It has to be specific instead of a generic "Great job!". It must reflect how the person's contribution particularly affects their team and the organisation as a whole.
  • It has to be transparent in a way that is clear to all employees whose efforts are recognized and why, especially if monetary-based rewards for an exceptional performance are in place.
  • Lastly, it has to be custom tailored. Some employees may prefer to be publicly acknowledged, whereas others may want to stay under the radar. Get to know your people’s preferences to ensure your recognitions are fully appreciated.
2.Experiment with career-based rewards

It is well-known that workers will leave their current job if their organisation does not provide development opportunities to drive their career. One way to show appreciation to employees for their hard work —especially considering today's challenging situation where some of us might feel stagnant —is to invest in their skills by for example registering them for online courses. This will not only help reward your staff with meaningful recognition, but also broaden their expertiseand take your business to new heights. A win-win!

3.Introduce peer-to-peer recognition

Employees often prefer to be recognized by their closest colleagues rather than superiors because their praise feels more genuine. This makes sense. After all, a co-worker knows the ins and outs of the job best and what it takes to get it done. These are the people that will spot your effort when you go the extra mile. Thankfully, it is fairly simple to introducepeer-driven recognition into an organisation's culture. You can, for example, create a kudos channel in your communication platform for each team and encourage employees to thank one another for their remarkable work. Additionally, a more advanced example would be to use recognition add-ons integrated into your workspaces for a continuous recognition and feedback flow.

Recognition is definitely essential in a great workplace. It doesn't need to be complicated or expensive to make a substantial difference when it comes to retaining top talent and increasing employee engagement. Curious if your employees experience a recognition culture? Take a look at our Great Place to Work® Trust Index© employee survey to measure and track levels of employee recognition, trust, pride, and much more.