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How to Motivate Employees Through Recognition


If you motivate employees they can be form as the pillars of your successful and established company; as they are the ones who are more effective, produce results, proactive, close deals and more importantly they are very committed to the organization.

Employees find themselves being satisfied with their jobs because their work is being valued and noticed, giving them a sense of purpose and hence, motivated to give their best anytime; which in other words, means providing value to the organization.

Another reason for motivating employees through rewards and recognition programs is the fact that this will go a long way in getting a strong team. The team will also notice that a member is being appreciated, it will open up the communication gate and inspire others to excellence as well. Here are a few pointers in motivating employees or employee recognition ideas

motivate employees through recognition

Why Employee Recognition is Important?

Praising your employees for their good work helps the company grow and succeed in this competitive world. In simple words, giving your employees the needed recognition and importance for the work they perform.

Employee recognition holds great importance in the life of the employee and also motivated to work even better for the organization’s goals.

As per Dr. Ashley Whillans from the Harvard Business School, a Specialist in behavioral science says that “What matters in the workplace is helping employees feel appreciated.” If the employee is responsible for achieving the organizational goals and values then, making them feel important and rewarding is worth doing.

There are many ways in which employee recognition and the rewarding process can be done and some of the benefits of employee recognition are as follows,

  1. Better employee satisfaction
  2. Fun at work
  3. Can provide greater customer satisfaction
  4. Higher Loyalty
  5. Lesser absenteeism
  6. Increase in employee retention
  7. Lesser errors at work
  8. Lower stress
  9. Improving teamwork skills
  10. Improve work performance

How Does Recognition Motivate Employees?

Being recognized for the hard work done is not only a sign of employee appreciation, but it is also another way of saying that the work done is being valued and that the employee is an integral part of the company.

A small pat on the back, giving excellence badges or just recognizing the work done in a meeting will have a strong impact on the morale of the employee and of course, the team as a whole. It is not long before employees try to find greener pastures if the work that they do, does not provide them with the satisfaction that they want.

It is a fact that if their work is not being recognized – they feel devalued. Here are the top 3 reasons why recognizing your employee’s good work will prove fruitful to the company –

1. Productivity:

Take it this way, when you feel that your work means something and is valuable, there is a high probability that you will want to produce better products because then, you will feel responsible for the people who depend on you for that good work.

Employees who feel valued will be more productive because they will have a sense of responsibility and the fact that they will want to stay on top and hence work hard to always keep their status.

2. Commitment:

The probability that an employee will want to leave a job where they are recognized and valued is very less, they will love their jobs and that is a big reason why they will be committed to their work long-term.

It is widely known that getting that job satisfaction is a huge reason why employees work hard, be productive and are highly committed to their jobs and what will give them satisfaction in their jobs is the fact that they are valued in their workplace.

3. Positive Environment:

The best impact that employee motivation will have is to the team; if everyone is inspired and raring to work and receive the recognition themselves, the environment around the workplace is going to be effective and positive.

Everyone is working hard to achieve the company’s goals and vision – everyone cares because they feel cared for and therefore it will change the company to a workplace that inspires, motivates and one that pushes towards teamwork. So, through this team motivation at work is also gained.

How to Motivate Lazy Employees?

In any business or huge companies, everybody is susceptible to having at least one employee who has the skill but is unproductive; this can cause a lot of problems with the team because they will be the ones who will have to work the extra overtime to cover up for that one member.

Eventually, this employee will have an impact on the whole organization and with the cost and time that will take in hiring someone else or just firing the employee is not a good option (Remember the employee has the skills, he/she lacks motivation). It is always good to start strategic ways to motivate employees, said member in the team –

1. Communicate:

Be clear about the expectations you have for the team member, the result that you expect, the work that you see which is not up to the mark, the fact that the slacking around is affecting the whole company.

Set goals and deadlines on improvements that are expected from him/her, make sure to let them know their performance and obviously, give them a helping hand if they need it. The employee will appreciate the honesty – they won’t know what to work on if they are oblivious to the fact that they are slacking, how much the company is losing because of the employee’s performance and how much it is affecting the whole team.

2. Big Picture:

While communicating with these employees, it is advisable to let them know and (if possible) to focus on that individual’s part on the company’s success. Give him/her their scorecard and show the production rate that is slacking behind.

It is dragged on for more years will cause the company such amount of losses. Motivate them by letting them know how much their work is essential to the company as a whole and that they have a crucial part to play. Make them feel responsible.

3. Follow-up:

It is vital that as a leader or a manager that you follow up on the employee, if they have worked on their improvement, made changes to their behavior and if the goals that have been set when you talked, has been worked on or not.

Remember following-up will push your employee to act on the feedback that you have given him/her and if you see that there is a significant improvement, remember to always appreciate the changes and the fact he/she is trying to change for the team and eventually for the company.

How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace without Spending Money?

Though it cannot be argued that money plays a huge part in the motivation of employees to stay, be productive and happy with their job, however, money is only the reward that comes after the recognition and valuing your employees and this is something that can be done without the money.

Employees who are paid well will still leave a job if they do not feel that they are being recognized and valued as an individual. There are lots of jobs that can give them the money but just a few that can give them the job satisfaction that they can only find with employers who will see their value and effectiveness.

Here are a few employee motivation techniques and steps that will get employees motivated without spending money.

1. Communicate:

Employees are motivated when they are being noticed by their leaders because this shows that they are being cared for; so, take the time to know about the things that they find stressful at work, what they like and what are the things that you can do to make their work easier.

Talk about their successes and appreciate their hard work, with all that, talk about the things that are stopping them to give the company their best and offer them your helping hand.

2. Recognition:

Just a few words of thankfulness, a genuine pat on their back when good work is being done, a congratulatory note on their personal milestones and a short speech about the effectiveness that they have shown in a company meeting will go a long way in showing your employee that you care and this will eventually motivate to be more engaged.

Yes, there is always that line of professionalism that has to be present in any friendly conversation but that does not mean that they cannot be treated as humans as well. Always make it a point to recognize them in public and if there are improvements in feedback, make sure that this is done just between the two of you.

3. Promotions:

Yes, this is an integral part of any organization. It is a way of showing appreciation for the good work that an employee has done. It is a great way to show respect and acknowledged their active good work.

Better still, if there is a position that is opened in the company, make sure that you look inside the team first, this way they will not feel neglected because there may be gems in the company who deserves that raise.

However, if the decision is to take an outside employee for a job, make sure to be clear and explain why that is necessary – your employees will understand why the move is important for the good of the company.

Motivation Through Reward and Recognition:

To reiterate the first point, there are a lot of advantages to recognizing your employees and knowing what motivates them better, recognition is a huge part of the employee motivation.

Remember that recognition of your employees’ good work is your way of letting them know that you care for them as a leader and that you acknowledge all the successful projects that they have done on behalf of the company.

Find an opportunity for rewarding employees and recognize their good work, it does matter though that these employee recognition programs remain exclusive for the top performers because then, it will become obsolete and generalized because apparently anyone can get it.

However, as much as focusing on your top performers is important, remember that motivating ‘all’ your team members is also important because everyone is looking for approval and if they seem to find it hard to reach that goal, make it a point to show them the way to achieve that.

1. Speak it out:

This type of employee reward and recognition program does not take a lot of time and of course, do not overthink and fill your sentences with fluff – make sure that a thank you goes a long way in showing your appreciation to your colleagues, call them out in a meeting and let the whole company know what they have done to deserve the employee recognition awards – the best way to give your recognition is in public.

However, a quick visit to their cubicle or place of work just to tell them that you appreciate their hard work, will take your company miles ahead.

2. Events:

With your team working almost every hour of every day, there is bound to be a strained environment when everyone is too tired to talk and have fun. Plan outings or events and align them with a specific good project that has just been closed or just a way to let your team take the time off from all the stress.

Free dinner with the whole team because you can see how much everyone has been putting over time and working hard to meet a deadline. These can be planned for once a year or twice a half year and will show the team that you recognize their hard work.

3. Special assignments:

Because a team member has performed good in a previous project, give them an assignment that will show them that they are being acknowledged for a good job. The special assignment should preferably be an important job that usually someone from the higher hierarchy will handle or a project that will need special attention (make sure that they know this).

4. Give them importance:

It is no secret that employees are more engaged and feel motivated when they are given importance and included in important decision making meetings in the company. A good number of employees feel special when they have worked hard, produced results and are therefore allowed to contribute to important decision making processes in the company.

Understand that your employees are human too, humans need appreciation, recognition, and acknowledgment so that they remain motivated towards working and fulfilling the company’s objectives and visions.

Recognition is perhaps the simplest way to let your employees know that as a leader you also care about them as individuals and that you recognize their good work and are willing to let them and the team know your good work.