By Stephen Beach, co-founder and CEO of Craft Impact
Whether you manage two or 200 employees, you will quickly recognize that each individual has different strengths and unique ways in which they contribute to your team and your goals. To encourage your team and boost morale, it is imperative to celebrate employee accomplishments. People who feel valued, in turn, create value.
I’d like to share some ways in which you can ensure that your employees feel recognized. Consider these methods for celebrating your team members’ accomplishments:
1. Quarterly, Public Recognition
Take a look at your company’s core values and pillars. Is your company committed to integrity, leadership or innovation? Whatever your values may be, emphasize their importance by recognizing employees who exemplify these traits. Consider holding a public meeting on a regular basis, whether in office (if your team is small) or by setting up a video/dial-in webinar. The idea is to set aside dedicated time during which you can review what is important to your company and recognize individuals who have demonstrated your company’s core values through their actions.
You want your entire team to be able to see the person talking and hear the leaders explain how the award winners have successfully demonstrated core values. Present winners with a plaque or another tangible item that can be displayed in their workspace. Making this event feel like a special occasion further instills company goals and encourages other employees to think about how they, too, can rise to the occasion in the future.
Pro tip: Send a follow-up email or video to explain why the person was selected. It can be difficult to articulate this well in a meeting, but demonstrating how this person exemplifies customer service or some other tenant can be more powerful than simply telling people. For example, share clips from customers expressing their appreciation for this person, or explain how they helped improve a process and what that means for the business (saving the company time or money, for example).
2. Team Nominations
Set the bar high and consider a higher level, yearly award for real movers and shakers. Get your entire company in on the idea, and set up a way in which they can nominate their fellow co-workers and explain each individual’s unique accomplishments. This award should be really sought after. Maybe it’s a larger monetary bonus or a swanky trip, limited to one or a handful of winners. Present the award in a public format and consider having runner-up prizes as well.
Pro tip: When presenting the award, share notable anecdotes from the peer submissions about the top individuals so you’re providing a full picture of their unique contributions. You might also consider creating a compilation video of different employees and managers thanking the colleague.
3. Email or Social Board Shoutouts
Not all recognition must be formal, but when an employee does something notable, it’s good to loop in the rest of the team. Doing so can inspire other employees and help the recognized employee feel appreciated. If one of your employees implemented a process improvement, stayed late to help bring an initiative to the finish line or went above and beyond for the client, those are notable accomplishments. If you have a team message board, share the news there or email the team publicly thanking the employee and congratulating them for a job well done.
4. Unexpected Trinkets and Thank-You Cards
When your employees have made great contributions, consider reaching them in a more unexpected way. Send them a handwritten thank-you card along with a small gift, be it a coffee mug or a gift card to their favorite restaurant. These inexpensive tokens of appreciation can put a smile on an employee’s face and show them that their efforts are recognized.
5. Commitment and Growth Tracking
Don’t forget to celebrate on an individual level and tie an employee’s accomplishments back to his or her career path and goals. When your employee does an outstanding job, talk with them about next steps in their career, any additional or different responsibilities that they can take on, and chart how such accomplishments will help them get to where they want to be. Be sure to promote star performers and encourage their continuous growth.
Pro tip: Create templates for your leaders to use when conducting one-on-ones with their team members. This is a helpful way to log all conversations they’ve had with employees on their goals and careers, and to track progress on additional responsibilities and growth.
Recognizing employee accomplishments benefits your entire team. Individuals want to feel that their efforts are appreciated, recognized and rewarded, so implement a communications plan that facilitates the celebration of employee accomplishments.
Stephen Beach is co-founder and CEO of Craft Impact -- a growth agency helping B2B companies generate more quality leads from their websites.