Recognition used to be a monthly “employee of the month” parking spot. Doing that little is no longer enough. Today’s workplace is experiencing a shift from employee and team recognition as being “nice to have” to “need to have.”
A survey by World at Work reported that 88% of organizations have a staff recognition program in place — this can range anywhere from Employee or Team Member of the Month to bonuses or gift cards. But these traditional methods are starting to grow a reputation for being inauthentic and, frankly, boring.
In fact, according to a 2017 Employee Engagement Report, only one in four workers feels valued at work — representing a 16-percentage-point drop from the previous year. Suffice it to say that you can’t simply have a recognition program in place and assume that all of your employees will automatically feel as though their contributions are appreciated. You have to have a recognition program that actually works.
Creative recognition programs are one way to make sure your team feels recognized. Here are five great ways to do just that.
1. Rotating Trophy
Find a fun trophy, stuffed animal, or figurine that you can pass around the team. Give it to an team member who has exemplified one of your organizational values, and let them keep it until the next event. Then, let that employee hand it off to one of their peers who has done the same at the the next event.
2. Surprise Treats
When your team shows up to the next event, stick a candy bar, their favorite snack, or treat in a gift bag for them. Custom team swag or even just a surprise snack are great ways to make people feel special.
3. Send a Card
Rather than giving employees a pat on the back or high five, send a card to their home. Snail mail has largely become a lost art. Who wouldn’t be excited by receiving an encouraging personal note unexpectedly? Use SendOutCards to send them a personalized card with their picture and if you really want to let them know how much you appreciation them, send a $50 American Express gift card.
4. Cheer Tee
Has someone done a spectacular act or gone the extra mile? Have teammates sign a company tee with a thank-you message. Give it to them at a live event.
5. Event Bonuses
Transportation to company events is can be costly. Send your team members a custom card with a gift card for gas or airport snacks. They’ll get to feel appreciated twice: when they receive it and when they use it.
These ideas are just the start. Think about small things that make you feel appreciated and do them for your team. The options are endless and the results will be worth it.