Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with 10 Tips for Giving Recognition!

Every day is a great day to appreciate and recognize your employees, however, today is officially ‘that’ day. It originally started in North America and is the first Friday in March. While recognition can come in many forms, from handwritten thank you cards to a peer-to-peer social recognition system, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are 10 tips, courtesy of Saira Gangji from Elevated HR on how best to recognize your employees.

10 tips for recognizing your employees: 

1. Be genuine: Recognition means the most when it is heart-felt and genuine. Be thoughtful about how you recognize anybody.

2. Be timely: Recognize employees and teams for their achievements and accomplishments in a timely manner. This helps to build and sustain enthusiasm, loyalty and engagement. Recognition has the greatest potential for impact when it is timely - employees will remember what they did and will strive to repeat it.

3. Be specific: Recognition is more meaningful if you recognize the specific contributions of employees and the value their accomplishments created. A "thanks for your great work" is nice, but it’s important to explain exactly “what” the employee did that was great, why it was great, and what impact it had. Think of it as a recipe for helping your employees to achieve “greatness” more often.

4. Be focused: Try not to lump in all the recognition for employees together at the same time.  Whenever possible, recognize one employee or one team, so that it feels personal and special.

5. Be calibrated: Make sure the amount and type of recognition is appropriate for the behaviour recognized. It is important to thank people for the simple things and also celebrate the big moments and wins. 

6. Be mindful: Different employees like to receive recognition in different ways. For some, receiving public recognition is the best kind. For others, public recognition is a huge nightmare. Take the time to understand and ask your employees and teams how they like to be appreciated and recognized so that you can tailor and personalize recognition to meet their style.  

7. Be aligned: Recognition programs should be aligned with the organizational culture, values & goals. While some of the newer peer-to-peer social recognition systems are great for aligning core values an culture to each message, you shouldn’t forget about it when giving recognition in person.

8. Be regular: Embed recognition into your daily culture and empower everyone to be a part of it. Make recognition regular and a priority.

9. Be inclusive: While recognizing individuals and teams is important, be sure not to miss anyone out. Pay attention to each member of your team, they’re all important.

10. Be recognition focused: Recognition and rewards are not the same thing. Recognition is often invisible in nature but is priceless in value. You can give recognition without giving a reward, but you should never give a reward without giving recognition.

At Kudos, we’re coming up on our five year anniversary. It’s been an incredible ride full of exhilarating moments and some really challenging times. It's been great sharing this experience with them. Today is the day I celebrate them and everything they do. We are here because of their contributions. While I am going to ensure I give Kudos to each one of my team members, I will also give Kudos to the entire company. This year, I'm using our new beta Video Kudos feature to give Kudos to our team. It's a great feature that allows people to recognize each other using video clips and mobile devices. While my message to them was off the cuff... and a little long I'm told... LOL... I do highlight our values and the importance of them to me and the entire company. On employee appreciation day, I see these two elements as being essential. Please take the time out of your schedule today to celebrate your team! They’ll appreciate it as much as you appreciate them.

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