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Simple Ways to Recognize Employees’ Good Work

Simple Ways to Recognize Employees’ Good Work

As a manager, how can I recognize employees for their good work? I’ve considered implementing an employee recognition program, but that sounds daunting.

Annual employee recognition events have their place, but most workers would welcome positive feedback the other 364 days of the year. We know from experience that encouragement leads to greater engagement – not only in the workplace, but in our homes and even in our Church.

As the Scriptures remind us: “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.” (Heb 10:24)

But how can we encourage our employees, especially at this time when some may still be working from home, at least part of the time? And how do we do it in a way that resonates with them as individuals?

For example, personally, a quality cup of coffee and an old-fashioned sour cream doughnut make my day. However, for those who avoid sweets and caffeine or work from home – not so much.

With that in mind, the first step is to get to know your employees. If you are in an office, school or factory setting where you see one another each day, take a few minutes to chat during breaks in the day. Fostering community and communication in the workplace is well worth the brief lull in productivity.

Start simply.

Often, we get so caught up in our own busyness that we may not notice others’ contributions – or even take our employees or colleagues for granted. Staff meetings can be a good place to start. Take a moment to give a shout-out to an employee, co-worker or the entire team.

Be a slacker.

Use Slack, Teams or a similar platform to foster communication – especially if you are not working in the same location. You can set up a dedicated “Kudos” channel or use a “Random” channel to celebrate employee successes in real time.

Set specific, realistic, achievable goals.

Then celebrate once you reach them – it can be as simple as sending a team email (words do matter!), treating the team to lunch, sending a gift card for a nearby coffee house or inviting employees to knock off at 3 p.m. on a Friday.

Notice the good stuff.

When you get caught in a traffic jam on the way home, I’m guessing the first thing you say to your spouse is not “Wow, what a sunset!” Even for managers, work headaches may drown out the positives in our day. Make an effort to notice the small successes and contributions of your employees. Then say something!

Timing is everything.

Just as the Bible admonishes us not to let the sun set on our anger, the same holds true when it comes to recognizing employees or colleagues. Don’t procrastinate! “We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb 10:25)