11 October 2017

Are you recognising your employees?


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Employee engagement Leadership and management Performance


Recognition makes employees feel really good about themselves. It also motivates them and improves morale. Positive reinforcement sets an example for everyone in your business, showing them the kind of work you value most.
Although recognising your employees is easy to do, it’s also one of the things most business leaders forget.

Employee recognition is about acknowledging the hard work and accomplishments of the individual employees and teams within your organisation. It’s about creating an emotional connection between your employees and your company.

One size doesn’t fit all

The likelihood is that you have a diverse workforce. This diversity needs to be carefully considered when planning your recognition scheme and establishing the rewards that employees will receive for their efforts.

employee recognitionIn addition to the standard methods of recognising staff, such as monetary rewards or thanking an employee, it’s important to take into account the individual wants and needs of different people.
Personalising your ‘thank you’ will demonstrate that the business has put thought into the process and add emphasis to the gratitude shown.

If the recognition delivered is always the same, a template email with the name replaced, then the impact of it will soon wane.

For instance, if you know that an employee has an interest in photography then the reward for their hard work could be some photographic equipment. This is, in fact, something that Ciphr has done in the past.

Recognising employees doesn’t always need to be a grand gesture either – a simple ‘thank you’ from a team leader or line manager is often enough to show true appreciation and motivate an individual.

Make things more ‘human’

Taking a recognition scheme too seriously, not showing emotion or automating the process to the extent where there’s obviously no effort or involvement from business leaders, contradicts the reasons that your brand should have started such a scheme in the first place.

Employees need to know that the gratitude shown by the business is genuine, in order to fully appreciate the gesture. If the reward is automated and requires no effort, then it will have little or no impact.

Ingrain recognition in your company culture

be human as an employerRecognition not only benefits the employee, but should also form part of a successful company culture and employer brand. Consistency, communication and alignment of the brand values and goals, will ensure that everyone sees the benefit of such a scheme.

Ensuring that employees are aware of the company policies and overall vision and mission will help to align the recognition program with the culture.
Communicating this information can begin during the onboarding process and play a regular part in ongoing dialogue. If employees are aware of, and agree with, what the business is trying to achieve, then they’ll help to build a strong and successful brand.

Recognition should come from everyone

Recognition needs to come from all levels of the business, from one employee thanking their colleagues to the CEO praising an individual for their efforts.

If certain senior staff are never seen taking time out to thank employees, demonstrating sincerity or even displaying a general level of interest, then they appear distant, unapproachable and disengaged.
Business leaders are the cornerstone of an employer brand and without their involvement that brand will suffer.

In the interest of transparency and employer branding, many business leaders are encouraged to share updates and news on social media.
Mentioning achievements and good news stories relating to their employees is a great way to demonstrate recognition and both build and strengthen the brand.

Gamify things

gamificationIntroducing gamification to a recognition program can generate interest, provide a talking point and encourage participation.
Gaining points for completing certain tasks and rewards for reaching specific milestones is an effective and fun way to increase engagement, while simultaneously creating a sense of community within the business.

Progress could be recorded in your HR system, for instance, Ciphr’s HR platform enables custom fields to be created and reported on that display information which may be specific to your business.

Get feedback and ideas

Continually improving any process is important and recognition is no exception. Obtaining feedback from both employees and managers will allow you to optimise the way that recognition is delivered within the business.
Are there certain rewards that are particularly popular? Or ones that aren’t? Do certain areas of the business get recognised more than others?

Allowing open and honest feedback will help you to ensure that employees feel valued and that the brand is giving thanks where it’s due.
Regular discussions, an open forum on your company intranet or even simply encouraging communication between departments, will all help to open channels, allowing employees to offer their opinion and constructive criticism.