--Nina Vaca, founder of Pinnacle Technical Resources
Employee recognition is about making your workers feel appreciated for the work they do. It’s about rewarding the best behaviors you want to reinforce. It’s about making your workers more engaged and invested in the company.
It’s all about ... you?
Yes, you definitely want to give yourself recognition at work. Here’s why.
Set An Example
What behaviors and qualities do you want the members of your organization to strive for? How would you like your employees to embody the company values? Show them by modeling the behaviors yourself.
For example, if one of your company values is social responsibility or giving back to the community, organize a volunteering opportunity for your team at a local nonprofit. If customer service is your top priority, highlight an instance where you went the extra mile to make a client happy. And yes, give yourself a reward.
Of course, we’re not talking about giving yourself extravagant gifts or posting your photo under an “Employee of the Year” banner. It’s best to use a non-monetary award that other people can also get, such as handing out “company values” badges that you and other winners can display at your desks. You want to create a public and visible form of recognition, so your employees can see what you’re rewarding—and most importantly, how they can earn it too.
Lift The Curtain
An important part of this strategy is being completely transparent about the process. You want to make sure your employees understand exactly what they need to do in order to earn the recognition.
Objective measures like numbers are great—for instance, a rating system where customers can rate their satisfaction after they’ve been helped by you. Or you can let team members vote on who they want to give an award to. There are plenty of options—just be clear about how it all works.
When your employees feel like you’re being transparent with them, they’re sure to be happier. So make sure they know exactly what you want and how they’ll earn rewards.
The Domino Effect
The best result of giving yourself recognition is that you’ll start a chain where other employees will follow your example. Why not build this into your process? Make the recognition something that you pass along.
For instance, if you want to recognize someone who sticks their neck out to achieve a goal, you could bring in a stuffed giraffe toy. Once someone has earned the recognition, they then choose the next recipient.
Or spread the love all around by creating a wall (physical or virtual) where everyone who hits a certain goal can be recognized, and there’s no limit to who can be added.
Remember, you’re just as much a part of your team as your employees, so you can (and should) strive for the same standards. Don’t be afraid to blow your own horn a little when you set a great example. Sometimes, the best employee recognition ideas are the ones you give to yourself.