Recognition isn’t just about keeping your best employees happy — it’s about keeping them, period. Consistent recognition is essential to retention in any economy.
Recognition programs can run the gamut, from elaborate to simple, from costly to cost-free. Regardless of what form they take, all rewards or gestures of recognition should be directly tied to actions or achievements that warrant special acknowledgment.
Keep in mind that the fundamental purpose of a recognition program is to motivate exemplary performance. As a result, incentives should have a real value to recipients, and money isn’t the only thing that’s important. Everything from a simple thank-you note to praise in a hallway to holding a special celebration can be meaningful as long as it’s genuine.
But be careful not to go overboard. Indiscriminate or unconvincing praise can leave employees feeling patronized rather than empowered. And remember: When employees receive genuine praise regularly, they’re more likely to be able to take criticism constructively, rather than resentfully.