Recognizing hard work and achievement in the workplace increases employee morale, encourages great performance and creates a positive atmosphere. Positive comments create a shot of dopamine in the brain that reinforce the good behavior (this is also a pro tip for habit formation!)
While recognition specific to the person is always appropriate, here are some ideas to create a culture of appreciation:
- Build on Strengths. You get more of what you focus on. When you’re praising a team member, pointing out specific desirable traits (always being on time, paying attention to details, offering cheerful service under pressure) motivates others to increase those behaviors as well.
- Routine Recognition. Encourage your team members to recognize good work and point it out. Peers are more likely to know about a fellow team member’s qualities and contributions. Consider how to make it easier for them to publicly congratulate each other on a job well done (start by doing it yourself!)
- #YouareAwesome. Use social media to commend a team member for extra effort – create a hashtag specifically for this purpose. #bonus – publicly recognizing great employees reflects well on your company for customers, investors, and your entire team!
- Celebrate. Commemorate work anniversaries thoughtfully. It may be just another year to you, but for each human on your team, pausing to celebrate their commitment to the organization serves as a strong employee engagement, development, and retention tool and a way to recognize and show your appreciation to a valued employee.
- Positive Focus. Host consistent, brief virtual gatherings where the sole purpose is to share something positive—good news, inspirational stories, or kudos to team members. One manager we worked with would create a group IM with the whole team each Friday morning to say thanks for a great week and pose a fun company related trivia question. It was an uplifting way to connect a remote team and start the day. Two sources for positivity we’re fond of: greatday.com and inspiremore.com.
- How to Appreciate. Appreciation is most valuable when it is personal and specific. “Nadine, your focus on the customer experience in our virtual event helped us wow the participants” has a greater impact than “Great job, team.”
“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.”
– Charles R. Schwab