Employee Engagement - The Case for Employee Recognition

Kirsty Young - April 7, 2017
Employee Engagement
Incentives. Perks. Bonuses. Employee of the Month. Competitions. Trophies. A higher salary.

Over the decades, businesses have used many varying methods to recognise the contributions and achievements of their employees. However, not all of them work in every market, and certainly not all of the time.

So, how can your business create meaningful, sustainable staff recognition processes that help achieve goals and drive growth?

Recognition types

Most business leaders would identify with this definition of two types of recognition:

  • enterprise recognition - a formal, systematic way to recognise your employee’s contributions

  • strategic recognition – a more spontaneous, flexible recognition of how your employees are aligned, and contributing towards your company goals

The first is traditional, formal, and, frankly, a little dull. The second is the type your management team will care about, as it gives you information and a holistic view of the genuine, bottom line impact of company behaviours, values, and culture. It also allows companies to match up their investment into recognition and reward with measurable business outcomes.

Read What is Employee Engagement in Reality?

Recognition and reward: the theory

The theory is simple: reinforce strategic goals, values and achievements with constant monitoring and rewarding of good practice. Integrating that into your busy working day is not. Until now.

“The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.”

Sam Walton

Cloud-based employee communication apps such as Talkfreely are ideal as the driver and deliverer of employee recognition. Talkfreely puts the information, method and capability for employee engagement into everyone’s hands, and then adds the ability to add kudos, praise, support, and peer to peer recognition.

What’s in it for employees?

Engaged employees are more productive, more enthusiastic and more likely to be an advocate for your business. Employees are also human; we all like to be praised for achieving a goal or overcoming a challenge, recognised for the hard work we do day in day out, celebrated for that ‘extra mile’ contribution. Talkfreely provides a company-wide, virtual space platform where employees can be publicly recognised for their achievements - and recognise their colleagues too. Peer to peer recognition is powerful, positive and personal, and enjoyable both to give and receive.

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What’s in it for managers?

As a manager, you’re in a unique position to spot those day to day alignments to goals and challenges, as well as signpost team and departmental milestones. With Talkfreely, you can monitor exactly what employees think is worth a shout out to spot trending issues or concerns. You can identify key influencers, and those who are quietly getting on with it. The integrated employee recognition system allows you to give ‘Kudos’ to an individual, a group, a team, and tell their story with anything from a quick post to a video.

What’s in it for CEOs?

As senior manager, you just don’t have the time to get out into the workplace and feel the pulse every day. Talkfreely gives you a holistic overview of the activity and engagement levels of your employees. With real-time reporting and analytics, it gives you unique insights into their reaction to and alignment with company goals, ethics and practices. You can then tailor your recognition (and rewards) accordingly, and know that they will be valued, appreciated and sought after by your staff.

Read 13 Fantastic Employee Engagement Ideas

Five key points of recognition and reward

There are five key pointers for effective employee recognition:

#1 Timely

If you see examples of great practice, some exceptional work or an outstanding contribution, recognise it straight away. Don’t wait, or the relevance will pass for you and the person you want to recognise. Talkfreely allows you to give recognition at whatever level you want, whenever you want, how you want. From a simple “Like” for an idea to giving serious “Kudos” to a colleague, your simple touch of a button can really make someone’s day.

#2 Genuine

Recognition should always be honest, genuine, and heartfelt. Genuine recognition fuels the success of your employee engagement system by maintaining the integrity of the content. Talkfreely allows online communities to build naturally through communication, cooperation and shared challenges, and encourages a sense of shared values. Your recognition and support, and the way it is delivered, reinforces those values.

#3 Personal

Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter most to employees. With Talkfreely, you can deliver recognition on a one to one basis, celebrating the achievement of an employee in reaching a goal that’s specific to them. You can also shout out about the achievements of a small team working hard on a project, or a cross-department group working through a difficult challenge. Not all recognition needs to be company-wide, unless you want it to be.

#4 Ongoing

Recognising great work is an ongoing process, simply because good stuff is happening all the time. With Talkfreely, you can monitor multiple projects and discussion streams, manage challenges and create new groups. Every element of activity in the app provides fresh opportunities for recognition, to drive your business forward with energy and enthusiasm.

#5 Enjoyable

Go on, have fun with your rewards, you’re worth it! Talkfreely allows you to recognise individuals, teams and groups and then share the process of their reward too, right down to images of the celebration cake, champagne, cheque or Caribbean karaoke evening video!

Need to communicate to employees just how much you value them?

Our employee app puts praise in the palm of your employee’s hands, along with your company news, information, challenges, surveys and more. Call us for more details, or sign up for our free trial.

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