Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Recognize Employees

What if you held the power to increase your company’s productivity without spending a dime?

Pish posh! That seems impossible.

Actually, it’s far from impossible, and it’s quite simple.

We are all familiar with the term “recognition,” but how often do we actually do it? Statistics say not nearly enough.

The thing about recognition is anyone can give it, it isn’t hard to do, and it makes all the difference.

Here are some simple ways to build a culture of recognition.

Express Gratitude Through Words

Words go a long way. Saying “thank you,” “you’re doing great,” and “awesome job” can make a difference in someone’s day. It sounds straightforward and it is. Often, we forget how big of an impactful we can make just by the words we say.

What’s even better? When you’re thanking someone, give specific examples of how their hard work has positively affected others. Sometimes we get so ingrained in our work that we can’t see the bigger picture. Helping someone recognize the real difference their actions have made will motivate them to continue working hard.

At Pearl Insurance, we provide our employees with “thank you for…” sticky notes. We encourage our people to recognize and appreciate each other because we’ve seen firsthand the difference it can make in the workplace.

Express Gratitude Through Actions

Whether it be a handwritten note, a cup of their favorite coffee, or even an award, there are plenty of small (or big) ways to show someone how much they mean to you. If you know enough about the person to make a gift unique to them, then do so. It shows that you listen and pay attention to who they are outside of the workplace and as an actual human being.

Here are some other ways to show appreciation:

  • Take them out to lunch.
  • Surprise them with a treat.
  • Recognize their hard work in front of the team.
  • Let them go home a little early.
  • Take them offsite for a team outing.
  • Present them with an award.

Every year, Pearl awards an employee with the Jim Jenkel award. Our winner receives a plaque and a bonus. Plus, our Marketing Department recognizes an employee every quarter who goes above and beyond with a Cornerstone Award. These are just a couple ways for us to show our employees we care.

Make Recognition Routine

In order for recognition to be effective, you can’t say “thank you” once and expect that to instantly create a positive culture. You need to make it habit. If this is hard for you to remember, write yourself a reminder or set a weekly “appointment” on your calendar. After a while, it’ll become so routine that you won’t think twice about recognition.

Feed Your Own Soul

Your bottom line may feel like it’s everything, but it’s not. If you nurture a culture of care and recognition, your bottom line will naturally come to fruition.

At the end of the day, we’re all human beings who long to fulfill a greater purpose in life. Building a culture of recognition is one way for people to feel valued and like they’re making a real difference. When people feel appreciated, they will go the extra mile for you.

Not to mention… making others feel good makes you feel good, too.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

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