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Keeping People On Board: 10 Ways to Recognize & Reward Workers

Employee recognition is one of the most powerful tools for recruiting and retaining talent. This has been the case for years now and it’s certainly true now, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic made people realize that their employers don’t recognize their hard work. The simple fact is that if your team feels underappreciate and under-valued, they probably won’t be YOUR team for very much longer.

As such, it is a good idea to consider the many ways you can recognize the people who work for you, from regular day-to-day employees to high-quality contractors.

  • Recognizing Milestones

The most obvious time and reason to celebrate a worker is if they hit a particular milestone. Maybe you’re celebrating the closing of a big project or recognizing that they’ve been with the company for so many years. Either way, it makes it seem like you’re paying attention to their accomplishments and makes them feel appreciated.

  • Ongoing Reward Programs

If you want to ensure that regular workers feel appreciated, consider starting some type of ongoing reward program. Create a point system, where employees can accumulate and cash in points for rewards. Alternatively, a department recognition board, where people can post citations, customer commendations, and notes about each other. This way everyone gets in on the act and shares their positivity.

  • Providing Training Opportunities

One of the biggest reasons that employees leave their jobs is that they feel they have no opportunities to grow or learn. Investing in ongoing employee development programs not only improves job skills and helps troubleshoot skills shortages but also contributes to personal advancement and builds employee engagement.

  • Making Work Adjustments

One of the best ways to make an employee feel appreciated is to show that you trust them. If you feel that someone is capable enough, give them additional authority and empower them to take actions without your direct okay. If there are multiple projects on your plate, consider giving them the choice of which one they want to work on.

  • Offering Daily Feedback

No one needs a full progress report every day, but people like to know if they’re doing a good job. Make it a habit to offer just a bit of feedback every day (or week), even if it’s relatively minor.

  • Prepare Regular Privileges

Some businesses have a grab bag of privileges that employees can draw from following an important accomplishment. These can vary from a free cup of coffee at a place that they like to a whole day off. You should adjust based on personal preferences what is realistic, but the surprise involved is a good way to get some smiles.

  • Awarding Trophies & Gifts

Trophies, medals, and ribbons are an old standard for highlighting a stand-out employee, though if you want it to mean something, you will probably need to make a recurring thing rather than a one-off award. If you also want to recognize a long-time employee for their work, consider establishing and naming an award after them. If you have a “John Doe Award For Exceptional Customer Service,” you honor John every time you present it to someone else.

  • Writing a Letter of Recognition

It might seem old-fashioned but sending an actual physical letter recognizing someone’s accomplishments can mean a lot in a world where most people only communicate through emails, cellphones, and Zoom calls. People generally like getting cards, but a hand-written letter shows a time investment that will leave people feeling appreciated for their work.

  • Hosting An “Appreciation Night” Event

If your team has been working especially hard lately, reward them with a special night off, including food and drink. It’s an opportunity to recognize their accomplishments and promote comradery among your people. You can also invite any contractors or other third-party workers to thank them for a job well done.

  • Promote A Third-Party’s Work To Others

If you’ve hired a contractor who has delivered strong work recently, the best way you can thank them is to send more work their way. Ask for some copies of their business card and feature them in your office. Most importantly, if you run into anyone who could use the contractor’s services, recommend them! And don’t forget to ask them to say, “My friend sent me!”

However, you choose to recognize your talent, the most important thing is that they know that you’re paying attention and appreciate their work. Few people enjoy having their work go unappreciated, so if you want to keep your workforce satisfied, try to show that you care.

About the author

Author profile

Isaac Isaiah Carr, JD MBA is founder, CEO, and business attorney of CCSK Law, a kingdom-driven law firm. Launched 5 years ago, CCSK Law grew from a single member firm to a 10 person team. His areas of focus include business formation and strategy, contract writing, sales, and corporate finance. Often referred to as an entrepreneur with a law degree, Isaac is able to offer business strategy utilizing creative solutions guided by legal and accounting principles that are then well executed in law. Experience in a variety of industries including real estate, hospitality, automotive, e-commerce, professional services, and healthcare. Successfully negotiated and closed multi-million-dollar transactions, ranging from $1.8M to $10M, with private investors, corporate leaders, and municipalities. Ultimately, he builds sustainable structures for systematic growth. Graduated from Valparaiso University Law School summa cum laude with his Juris Doctorate as well as the AACSB-accredited Valparaiso University School of Business with his Master’s in Business Administration. Passionate about education in all forms, Isaac is involved in the nonprofit organizations of SCORE, Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities (NEO) and New Vistas High School, ValpoNext, and Music Neighbors.

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