When planning how to spend your time and resources, what are the reasons to recognize employees? Employee recognition might not be your first priority, but it should definitely be a significant priority. From rewarding behaviors that build the type of organizational culture you want, to increasing retention, recognizing employees for their work can have many desirable outcomes. It also does not have to take a lot of time or resources; there are many creative ways to show employees that you notice their efforts.
Sentient Digital, and our subsidiary, RDA, recognizes employees that exemplify our values via the CREED awards each year. Less formally, we also have holiday parties as a form of recognition for our employees’ hard work.
Although it may require some adjustments to your procedures or even the culture of your organization, emphasizing the importance of employee recognition can have many important impacts on your business. Read on to learn more about why recognizing your employees’ efforts matters, how they work at Sentient Digital, and how your organization can start to do so.
Top 10 Reasons to Recognize Employees
Implementing any cultural or procedural change in an organization can be complicated, but taking into account the reasons below may help you to decide to take the next steps. While these benefits are listed in no particular order, they all serve as good reasons to recognize employees.
1. Driving Employee Engagement
When employees know that their contribution is valued, this can help them to be more engaged and invested in their work. Having an engaged workforce creates several benefits, including reduced turnover and higher productivity.
2. Boosting Morale
Recognition such as employee awards can boost overall employee morale. This applies not only to the employees who actually receive the awards, but also to other employees, because they realize that their employer incentivizes exceptional work.
3. Promoting Desired Actions
It’s human nature: when we receive recognition for something we do, we are more likely to do it again. The psychological concept of positive reinforcement involves providing something in order to reinforce a desired behavior, and that is exactly what you can accomplish by providing recognition to your employees when they do something good.
4. Increasing Employee Retention
As mentioned above, engaged employees may be less likely to leave their jobs. This means that by a simple act such as praising employees when they do something especially well, you can reduce potentially costly turnover in your organization. This can also help you to maintain a talented team of professionals in a competitive market.
5. Assisting with Recruiting
Another significant benefit of recognizing your employees is that you may gain a reputation as an employer that does so. You might even consider adding information about your recognition programs to your job postings. This may help you to attract applicants, which can be particularly advantageous if you work in a highly competitive industry. Furthermore, you may find that the applicants who are motivated to impress you enough to gain recognition become some of your best employees.
6. Building Your Organizational Culture
Whether you take pride in your established organizational culture, or you want to change or build one, if you tie your recognition into your cultural values, it will serve to solidify the importance of those values for employees. Recognizing employees who live those values on a daily basis in their work shows that the values are more than words to leadership.
7. Enhancing Your Brand Image
When you treat your employees well, others will take notice. Particularly in the era of social media, when employees often share positive and negative experiences they have, showing appreciation to employees can help to promote your company as an employer of choice. This may also help you to attract customers or clients who prefer to buy from companies that treat their employees well.
8. Encouraging Collaboration
Remember that in addition to recognizing individual employees, you can also recognize teams, departments, and employees as a whole, for their work on particular projects or initiatives. This can also have a positive reinforcement effect on the idea of collaboration, showing the effort required to work well contributing to a team is worth it for the individual employees.
9. Helping Employees Understand How They Are Perceived
Although performance reviews are a type of employee recognition, in between reviews it can be difficult for employees to know how their work is perceived if they do not receive feedback. Recognizing their achievements can help them to understand that they are doing a good job and help motivate them to keep up the good work.
10. Delivering Quality Results
In order to produce high-quality work, employees need to know that high-quality work matters. Recognizing your employees when they go above and beyond can help motivate them to do so again. This in turn will allow you to feel confident that your employees are doing their best, and that you will deliver the results your clients or customers deserve.
How to Recognize Your Employees for Their Work
When you think about recognizing employees for their work, the first option that occurs to you might be financial incentives such as bonuses or raises. However, financial rewards are just one way that you can show appreciation to employees. For example, you can recognize employees via posts on your intranet, on social media, or in your newsletter.
Performance reviews also provide an opportunity for you to show appreciation to employees for their outstanding work. You can ask for feedback from peers to include in these reviews; not all recognition has to come from supervisors or leadership. You can combine these approaches, as well.
A somewhat less traditional, yet still relatively formal approach to employee recognition involves creating an award. This could take a bit more planning than simply giving an employee a compliment, but it may have a more lasting impact. One of the most important reasons to recognize employees is to reinforce that they exemplify your organization’s values. In light of this, it makes sense to base your award on your values.
Sentient Digital’s CREED Awards
Sentient Digital’s values are encapsulated in its CREED, which stands for “Caring for Each Other,” “Resilient in Our Work,” “Eagerness to Learn,” “Energetic in Our Approach,” and “Dedication in All that We Do.” We want to ensure that our employees understand that we take these values seriously and expect them to be a part of their work every day. To reinforce those values, we have created an employee awards program called the CREED Awards.
For our CREED Awards, we select employees whose work during the past year shows that they went above and beyond to align with and promote these values. We choose the best employees in each work area for this award.
To give the awards a personal touch and connect them with top leadership, they are presented by Sentient Digital’s president, Chris Mobley, when he visits each of our office locations during the holiday season. The selected employees receive a glass plaque engraved with their name and take a photo with Chris, who congratulates them on their achievements.
This often takes place at office holiday parties, which are another way that Sentient Digital recognizes its employees. The ability to have a holiday celebration indicates that the company has had another successful year and shows that leadership appreciates their hard work. Celebrating together also gives us a chance to informally get to know employees, recognizing them as people as well as for their work.
Sentient Digital’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Compliance, Cade Kohoutek, explains, “Since implementing the CREED awards 2 years ago, I have noticed a significant shift in employee morale and overall excitement about the holiday season! The Christmas parties have become an opportunity to give the awards, but more importantly, a time for employees and their significant others to engage with each other in a fun and festive environment.”
Over time, we’ve found that the CREED Awards serve multiple purposes in our organization. They show employees that we notice when they do exemplary work. They also enhance morale, as employees enjoy congratulating each other for the awards, including reacting when they are shared on social media. The CREED Awards motivate employees to overcome challenges and constantly seek to improve, both of which are very important in the tech industry; no two projects are the same and innovative thinking can always make what is already good, better. The effort we put into selecting award recipients and traveling to offices to give out the awards pays off in many ways throughout the year.
Learn More About Organizational Culture Topics with Sentient Digital
At Sentient Digital we focus on organizational culture to create a work environment that allows us to deliver high quality results and retain talented employees, helping them to continually develop their skills. We show our employees that we value what they have to say via employee feedback tools, because we firmly believe that everyone has something valuable to contribute to our success.
We share the lessons that we have gained from these experiences, so read our blog to learn more about our organizational culture and how your organization can implement similar practices.
We are a technology solutions provider serving businesses, government, and the military. If Sentient Digital sounds like the kind of employer you want to work for, check out our open positions to see whether we have the right fit for you.