To establish a strong company culture, which helps attract new talent and retain top talent, it is crucial to have systems in place for meaningful employee recognition and advancement.
Recognition in the workplace means a lot more to employees when it is tied to a specific accomplishment or organizational objective. Positive feedback and recognition for exceptional work incentivizes and motivates employees to perform at their best.
Meaningful recognition of employee achievements includes verbal feedback and praise from leaders and peers as well as personalized tangible awards and rewards. Meaningful recognition can also take the form of monetary compensation for exceeding expectations in the workplace.
Examples of Meaningful Employee Recognition Programs
Effective employee recognition should be deserved, timely, and specific. Meaningful employee recognition programs recognize specific achievements in the workplace, rather than more traditional milestones such as work anniversaries and years of service. Examples of individual achievements to recognize in the workplace include outstanding customer service, innovative process improvement, or mastery of a new technical skill.
Meaningful employee recognition programs used by top companies across industries include:
Points-based rewards systems
Peer-to-peer recognition programs (social recognition programs)
Engage Employees with Meaningful (and Frequent) Employee Recognition
Meaningful employee recognition is an integral component of a healthy and productive work environment. Research indicates that meaningful employee recognition from both supervisors and peers is effective in engaging employees and encouraging performance excellence.
According to Inc., 87 percent of company recognition programs are focused on tenure, which has little impact on organizational performance. Gen Z and Millennial employees are especially interested in work environments that have robust employee recognition and rewards programs, in addition to opportunities for professional development and advancement.
According to a recent survey by Gallup, Gen Z and younger millennials are more likely than any other age group to say they want recognition at least a few times a month from managers and/or peers. Gallup’s data indicates that employees are four times as likely to be engaged at work if they feel that they get the right amount of recognition for the work that they do! And since younger employees are more likely to say they want frequent recognition than older employees, meaningful and frequent employee recognition is a cost-effective way to increase commitment and professionalism among entry-level employees.
The Correlation Between Meaningful Recognition & Employee Retention
It’s no surprise that meaningful employee recognition tied to performance is an inexpensive way to improve retention of top talent.
Companies and organizations with a “recognition-rich” culture have lower voluntary turnover than competitors. In fact, building a robust culture of recognition can save a 10,000-employee company up to $16.1 million in turnover costs annually.
In industries where workers are especially susceptible to burnout, such as hospitality and healthcare, meaningful recognition programs are especially important. For example, hospitals that implement meaningful recognition programs, such as The DAISY Award for direct care nurses, can reduce burnout and compassion fatigue among critical care nurses. Perhaps that’s why The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses lists meaningful recognition as one of its six essential healthy work environment standards.
Why Meaningful Employee Recognition & Rewards Should Be Personalized
It’s clear from numerous surveys and research studies that effective employee recognition should be timely, specific, and deserved/meaningful.
Surveys of U.S. workers have also revealed the importance of personalizing employee recognition and appreciation. According to Tom Rath of Gallup, “In order for recognition to be meaningful, it must be tailored to the recipient’s preferences, not the giver’s preferences. Many people prefer tangible rewards or gifts, while others are more moved by words and acknowledgement. And while some people want to receive kind words in front of a crowd, others prefer a quieter, one-to-one commendation or compliment from someone they admire or respect.”
Tailoring employee recognition and rewards to each individual employee or team member, rather than creating a one-size-fits-all program that ignores personal preferences, is time-consuming but impactful. That’s why modern employee recognition programs often include personalized tangible rewards like tickets to cultural events, trip vouchers, and luxury merchandise (including customized name brand apparel and tech products) from your company store.
Build a Modern Employee Recognition Program with Personalized Rewards
An effective employee recognition program should do more than just distribute generic service awards to everyone in the office once or twice a year. A functional employee recognition program should also be more structured and incentivizing than occasional, nonspecific praise from a manager or a “kudos” from a co-worker in Slack.
A modern employee recognition program provides impactful employee rewards that are specific, deserved, timely, and personalized. Each reward should recognize and honor an individual or team’s achievement and highlight specific accomplishments made by each individual recipient.
A BrandHub company store is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way for corporations to distribute meaningful, personalized employee recognition rewards across departments and divisions – including award plaques, gift cards, and customized tech and wellness products. A BrandHub company store for employees also makes it easy for them to redeem points-based rewards. For optimal functionality, connect your BrandHub store to your company’s social recognition platform or employee recognition software via API integration.
For personalized and meaningful employee reward and recognition ideas, check out our guide to Employee Appreciation Gifts.
For help building a meaningful employee recognition program for your business and setting up a BrandHub company store to support it, contact us for a 1 on 1 consultation today: