13 Employee Recognition Ideas to Maximise Employee Engagement - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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employee engagement ideas

13 Employee Recognition Ideas to Maximise Employee Engagement

It’s a tried and tested theory that recognising your employees is a pathway towards maximising employee engagement. This engagement can form between you and your employee or your employee with the company overall. When you recognise your employees for their efforts, contributions and time, they feel acknowledged and significant to your organisation. How this is beneficial is that in return, they become more motivated to perform better to be further rewarded and hence, be more productive. Remember, productivity is key to increased business performance, so the two are very heavily correlated here. During the process your employees are powering up their performance, they’re actively engaged in what they do for you and your business. They take more note of what’s happening, delving themselves into matters that may or may not concern them just to ensure the business runs smoothly.

As you can gather, the subsequent effects of recognising your employees are critical to business success. Recognising employees come in many forms, depending on how you as a manager, would like to carry it out. While not every manager carries it out identically to one another, each one has their unique way of maximising engagement. For those who struggle to grasp onto how to recognise your employees, below we cover employee recognition ideas that are designed to help. These employee recognition ideas are based around fostering engagement between employees within organisations, whether they be large or small.  The likelihood of adopting all these employee recognition ideas are possible, but it will require allocating the time and resources towards it – depending on how high you prioritise maximising engagement, the more you’ll adopt.

Employee Recognition Ideas

    1. Weekly Feedback Sessions
      This employee recognition idea is necessary to allow for regular feedback for two sole reasons. Firstly, it lets you communicate to your employees what you believe they’ve been doing well and commending them on those efforts. Secondly, it allows your employees to have their say. They can let you know what their thoughts are, whether it be concerns, queries or an opinion on a particular matter.
    2. Staff Rewards scheme
      A staff rewards scheme is quite similar to the loyalty reward scheme you use when shopping at your local supermarket (for us Aussies, it would be Woolworths or Coles). It’s similar in the way that every purchase you make contributes a number of points you’d receive, which in turn can be exchanged for prizes or cash bonuses. Instead of the purchases, it’ll involve your employees unlocking achievements related to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which are linked to points that can be exchanged for monetary rewards. For example, unlocking the achievement of securing 40 sales per week will equate to 80 points, exchanged for a $200 voucher to spend at Amazon.
    3. Celebration Calendar
      This calendar isn’t the same calendar you use to update the whole office when important meetings are or when the deadlines for projects are to finish. This celebration calendar is purely to let everyone know whose birthday, anniversaries or significant personal events are happening. Sharing and celebrating these events allows your employees to know that their life achievements outside of the office are just as important as it is in the office.
    4. Thank You Notes
      It’s as easy as handing out notes that have personalised “thank you” to show your employees of a job well done on small or large projects they’ve worked on and completed recently. While this gesture is the smallest of all the employee recognition ideas, it has a large effect on your employee – trust me, being an employee myself I would know.
    5. Personalised Letters
      Taking it up a notch from a thank you note, is a personalised letter. The letter is supposed to outline what achievements your employee has achieved and being thanked personally in a letter, for formality purposes. The effect of a personalised letter is rewarding as it can be kept as a keepsake to remind them of their accomplishments – similar to a trophy.
    6. Quarterly Retreat Planning
      While we’re down the track of letting our employees know that their personal life can be acknowledged during their professional development, it’s good to let them know that they can relax with work. Asking for opinions on where the company should retreat to every quarter of the year is a way to let them know you care about their wellbeing and would like to thank them for their hard work. A ski trip perhaps? Or even sailing on a yacht?
    7. Project Picking
      As the name suggests itself, instead of allocating projects to your team, it’s time to allow them to pick for themselves. Not only do they choose projects that interest them, but they choose the projects based on what they believe they’d be capable of. These two factors combined are what will drive your employees to complete the task efficiently because it’s aligned to their standard.
    8. Let your teams pick employee of the month
      Instead of you or upper management selecting an employee of the month, it’s time to have your employees do the selection. Not only is it not bias, but it’s a team building exercise to have everyone motivating one another. Chances are, this process of selecting ’employee of the month’ will have a more joyous effect on your team as opposed to a rivalrous one.
    9. Recognise Through Social Media
      It’s as easy as having the employee’s photograph taken and uploaded onto the company’s social media (i.e. Twitter or Facebook) with a congratulating status. Not only is your employee’s achievements recognised internally, but shown to the external environment of the organisation. In a sense, it’ll make them feel like they’ve won the golden globe awards, being the company’s superstar.
    10. Recognise Their Passions
      Part of recognising your employees involves recognising their passions. Remember, these passions can stem from anywhere being cooking to car racing. Identifying what makes your employee passionate and acting upon it by offering to allow the passion to take place is how you show you care. As a manager, showing that you care is critical to employee happiness and in return, you see productivity from them.
    11. Lunch with the Chief
      Given them a sense of epic belonging. Given then 1:1 with the chief. Take them out to lunch and let them choose the location. Do your best to keep work related discussions to a minimum. Take this time to get to know more about what your employee’s interests and hobbies are beyond their work lives
    12. Work from Home Day
      Allow employees to integrate their personal lives with work. Let them experience special events like a child starting kindergarten or graduation day, and offer them a work-from-home day
    13. Bring your Dog to Work Day
      The evidence is there; A dog’s gaze releases oxytocin, that feel good molecule behind trust, social & team bonding. Whats more its 2 way, dogs also feel it.

The above employee recognition ideas are all interrelated despite them being carried out differently. While there are some employee recognitions ideas that require more time and effort to put into place, there are a few that don’t. For time constraint departments, it’s as simple as a thank you note. Just showing that you acknowledge your employees is a step towards business success. However, the more effort you put in for your employees, they’ll see that for themselves and respond twice as large by putting in more effort. It’s a win-win situation when it comes to adopting employee recognition ideas.

Alexi Gavrielatos

Business Development at EmployeeConnect