Employee recognition programs are a vital aspect of creating a positive company culture, increasing employee engagement, and improving overall productivity. However, these programs can only be successful if they are executed properly. A company’s leaders play a crucial role in ensuring that recognition programs are successful. Here are several ways leaders help set the tone for successful recognition programs:
1. Lead by example
Leaders should model the behavior they want to see from employees. By recognizing and appreciating their employees' hard work frequently and appropriately, leaders can set an example for their team and others. Studies show employees are more likely to follow suit when they see their leaders engaged and offering timely feedback.
2. Communicate the importance of recognition
Leaders need to communicate the importance of recognition to their employees. They should explain how recognition programs can improve morale and productivity, but also note that recognition is a form of performance feedback. Leaders should encourage their employees to participate in recognition programs and explain how doing so can benefit them personally, by improving their mood and happiness, and professionally, by allowing them to provide feedback and build trust.
3. Embed recognition into the daily routine
Leaders can help create a culture of recognition within their organization by making sure to highlight recognition on a day-to-day basis. Leaders can encourage their employees to recognize their colleagues' hard work and accomplishments by showcasing recognition in team meetings or briefings. When recognition becomes woven into the day-to-day, it is less likely to fall to the wayside.
4. Make sure to recognize milestones
Milestone recognition is very important in keeping employees, especially those with tenure, feeling appreciated. As a leader, you can make sure these milestone events are not missed by keeping notifications on for upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. These big milestones can mean a lot to employees, and should be celebrated accordingly depending on employee preference!
5. Stay involved
As a leader, you should keep tabs on all of the good things happening on your team and engage with recognition that comes in regarding your direct reports. This will help employees feel seen and will help build rapport between leaders and employees. It’s important to know at any given time who has not received recognition in a while, and who your top performers are. This is only possible if you’re regularly checking in and staying up to date on incoming recognition.
In conclusion, a leader’s role in helping to cultivate a culture of gratitude is vital. These are some of the main ways leaders can lean in on recognition efforts and set an example for employees across the organization.