Motivating Employees through Recognition

by | Feb 2, 2016 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“Employee recognition is easy.  It means paying attention to the good stuff and calling it out.  It’s as simple as an authentic “Thank you,” or an employee-run rewards system.  Because of it, employees feel seen, valued, and proud”. – youearnedit.com

Customer service, as we know, is not the domain or responsibility of only the customer service teams – every employee must contribute towards elevating the customer experience. Given that so much rides on the kind of workforce a company has, it would be prudent for a company to do whatever it takes to retain its best employees. Employee retention is a challenge for most companies and high attrition brings down morale, affects customer service levels, and negatively affects the company’s bottom-line. Employers must put in robust strategies and ensure that motivating employees through recognition and whatever means possible becomes a company culture. High attrition amounts to huge costs for a company – it is very expensive to hire new people, retrain them, and bring them up to a level of high performance. This also costs the company valuable person-hours that could otherwise have been used productively.

Motivating employees through recognition should be an on-going and relentless process since it is not always feasible or necessary to give them pay increases and or bonuses. In any case, such monetary benefits happen only once a year and would not be sufficient to increase employee engagement and loyalty. Motivating employees through recognition must happen as and when a recognition worthy behaviour occurs. Research and studies prove that such effort on the part of the company encourages employees to work harder, give their best, and constantly strive to improve and develop personally and professionally. Motivating employees through recognition is a public acknowledgement of their efforts – this in turn motivates and stimulates others to work harder and gain the recognition.

Do you believe that motivating employees through recognition works? Does your company follow this practice? We believe that recognition is something that everyone craves for and when employees receive recognition for their work and efficiency, it accelerates a desire to do even more and better. Motivating employees through recognition brings out their latent talents, makes them more confident, and keeps them energized to contribute toward the company and its customers in whatever way possible. There are many studies to prove that motivating employees through recognition makes employees more productive, increase their loyalty, and are willing to go the extra mile to affect the company in positive and meaningful ways.

There is a certain power and potency in motivating employees through recognition and this must not be underestimated. When used correctly, it can be an indispensable tool for increasing the company’s revenue, gaining more customers, and achieving sustainable success. The effect of motivating employees through recognition is that this action amplifies the value of the employees’ behaviour and portrays it as an achievement, which others must strive for too. Letting your employees know that they have done a good job, in the presence of others in the organization, works like a charm and makes people look forward to doing something even better and more impactful. The essence of motivating employees through recognition is to find ways that work and create the right impact on their morale. Whatever you do, ensure that it acts as a constant reminder of their accomplishment, such that it drives them and others. In addition, recognition for achievements, raises the self-esteem, makes them feel as a valued part of the company and encourages them to actively seek opportunities that would challenge them do better and grow personally and professionally.

Motivating employees through recognition should also include some kind of monetary rewards when the behaviour results in superlative results. Without some tangible results, employees would begin to lose interest and enthusiasm – after all public praise and a handshake will not last beyond a few days – employees must see a payoff. Recognizing hard work through tangible rewards that involve a monetary benefit lets employees know that the company is serious about ensuring certain behaviours from its employees. Some companies, while motivating employees through recognition, may believe in offering effective but less costly rewards. A handwritten note from the top person in the company or taking the employee out for a lavish meal or some extra time off, are great ways to motivate employees without heavy costs. The impact is substantial and will have others ramping up their game in order to gain these rewards.

Motivating employees through recognition must be immediate since it would instantly link to the employees’ behaviour and help to create positive reinforcement. While employees do want and deserve salary increments and bonuses, these ‘spot recognitions’ make the person feel extra special and know that the effort and contribution is valuable to the company. The mistake that companies sometime make is to forget the achievements in any given workday. Appreciation for a great job done on any given day does warrant recognition, and managers and leaders must understand the importance of doing so.  ‘Catch’ someone displaying work ethics, some behaviour that would serve customers or add value to the team or company and praise them instantly. Ensure that others on the ‘office floor’ hear about the person’s achievement and make a big deal of their behaviour by letting them know that they are an asset to the company.

As individuals, employees would have their share of problems, shortcomings and limitations both at work and in their personal lives. These could bring them down – however, knowing that the company they work at is committed to inspiring and motivating them, would make their problems seem more manageable. Motivating employees through recognition has an added advantage – it keeps the lines of communication open such that employees would not be hesitant to discuss their problems and seek help when required. This in turn adds to gratefulness and inspires loyalty, ensuring that employees stay with a company for the longest time and work consistently for its welfare and success. A smile or a simple thank you can prove extremely effective to soar the spirits of not just the person but also of all those working with her or him.

Some employers may hold back from motivating employees through recognition, since they feel that praising employees too much or too often could lead to complacency and laxity. Some employees could see recognition from the boss as a reason to slack off when the boss is not around. Managing recognition well however, most often leads employees to want consistently demonstrate that they deserve all the recognition and or rewards they have received and should continue to get them. In whatever manner a leader chooses to recognize the employees, the fact is that recognition is an extremely potent instrument that fosters a spirit of excellence and a desire to achieve even higher levels of productivity and boost the overall morale.

A highly energized workforce will remain with a company for long, ensure that the company’s customers are served well at all times, and thereby contribute to the growth of the company. Lowered stress levels and opportunities for conflicts in turn lead to lowered absenteeism and incidents of illness within the workforce. With so many high-impact benefits, motivating employees through recognition, must become part of every company’s culture.

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