Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance in this competitive era. The amount of efforts spent on finding the ‘sweet spot’ of customer satisfaction index speak for themselves. What many companies forget is that their employees are the ones who are responsible for bringing about this satisfaction. It is their concentrated efforts and willingness to serve better that helps companies become popular in the market.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients” – Richard Branson
Employees play a key role in driving business performance. They are the internal customers of the organization which is why it makes that the management takes care of them before external customers.
Today you will see that many companies have increased their focus on employee engagement activities. They want their employees to be happy and in the best possible environment so that they willingly contribute towards organizational growth. Employee recognition is by far one of the most effective yet underutilized way to ensure higher engagement levels in the organization.
Here is how employee recognition can help drive business performance most effectively:
Recognize for the right reasons:
If you look around at some of the older well established companies, you will see that employees who achieve a career milestone in the company receive tenure awards in functions specially organized for them or at annual company events. While this is not a bad practice, it does little to motivate other employees in the company. There may be individuals who may not have been with the company for long, but have yet shown stellar growth in their short time with the company. The company cannot afford to ignore such individuals. Otherwise it is like saying they don’t value excellence and they only want individuals who can be associated with the company for longer time as that is the only criterion of engagement.
Individuals should not be praised for their time in the company but for their contributions. It is essential to determine how have they helped the company achieve its goals. Have they come up with any innovative solution to overcome some of their peers problems or to increase the efficiency of any process? Are they instrumental in breaking some barriers that previously held the team back?
When the company recognizes the efforts of such individuals, they pave the way for others to emulate these efforts and also become eligible for recognition. By rewarding excellence, you promote excellence. Even if an employee who has joined in the last 3 months displays expertise, then make sure you acknowledge his or her efforts. It will drive them to make more meaningful contributions.
Point to note: Managers need to focus on recognizing key behaviors that align with the organization’s goals and objectives for the short as well as long term. Thus recognition is not just an idle practice but actually a targeted approach to ensure there is growth in organizational performance and productivity leading to increased revenues.
Recognize in the right manner:
How are employees recognized for their efforts in the organization? If the answer is during one-on-one meetings with the manager or during annual performance reviews, then you have already lost half the battle. Recognition is not a onetime process but an ongoing process. Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time to appreciate someone’s efforts and definitely don’t do it in private. All good deeds should be publicly lauded while all constructive criticism or feedback should be discussed behind closed doors.
The individual’s peers should also be able to see how their team members have displayed exceptional performance and how he or she is being praised for it. They are shown that with the right initiatives and determined efforts, they too can become known among their team members. There is little to no bias in such processes so favoritism cannot take place. Everyone has an equal chance at galore as long as they give their best to the organization. You might also like to Read Sprucing up your performance appraisals with the right recognition
Point to note: Managers should stop focusing only on the big wins. In such cases rewards and recognition arrive too few and far between. This could subsequently lead to employees feeling dejected and downtrodden. If they are working on big assignments or projects, it is evident that they will experience bigger setbacks, delays or bottlenecks. Avoid this feeling of dejection and celebrate all the small wins that come along the way to the final success. Recognition for smaller wins keeps it frequent and consistent, despite all the delays and obstacles.
Praising someone for a job well done goes well beyond organizational productivity or increased revenue. Individuals crave recognition as it triggers positive emotions in them. So instead of looking at the benefits that the organization will reap ultimately, consider making recognition a part of your culture for one and only one thing: it is the right thing to do. Everything else will follow.