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New Years Resolution #1: Employee Recognition

Recognizing employees on a regular basis is an important part of improving and maintaining employee engagement, retention and morale. But with managers overburdened with mounting responsibilities, how can you keep employee recognition front of mind?

We’ve put together five easy tips managers can follow to remember to recognize employees. Adopt more than one tip to ensure that recognition happens on a regular basis at your organization.

1. Use a recognition theme.
A recognition theme reduces the challenges managers face when starting to practice employee recognition. A theme includes messaging that reinforces desired behaviors and attitudes that can be tied to your values and goals. A theme will help your recognition be more effective at reinforcing employee behaviors.

2. Schedule reminders on your calendar.
Discipline yourself to give recognition by setting aside time on your calendar to think about employee behavior you’ve observed. Once you’ve identified who you’re recognizing and why, write a note of recognition and deliver it to the recipient.

3. Keep tools in sight and within reach.
A constant visual of the recognition tools you should be using is a better reminder than tying a ribbon around your finger. Keep the items on your desk to keep recognition front of mind.

4. Have a peer hold you accountable.
Sticking to a goal is easier with a buddy. Ask a peer to make employee recognition a priority, too, and then meet for lunch every week for status updates and encouragement.

5. Implement peer-to-peer recognition.
A peer-to-peer recognition program gets the entire team involved in the recognition process. When you receive recognition and see it happening around you, you’ll be more likely to give it to others, too.

Want more tips and ideas? Visit our Recognition Resource Center to read all 10 employee recognition ideas!


Quick Tips
Congratulations! You’ve made employee recognition a priority in the New Year. Make the recognition you give effective to achieve increased employee morale, engagement and retention.

- Write thank you notes that are specific to the behavior you’re recognizing.
- Give public recognition. It motivates the whole team.
- Recognize employees immediately after observing recognition-worthy behavior.
- Include a senior manager in your recognition.
- Present employees with a memento along with your verbal or written praise. It will serve as a lasting reminder of the recognition.

Best Practices
Sheila, a retail store manager in Illinois, uses the Recognition Binder System to recognize and motivate her staff. Her handwritten notes of thanks and praise have become quite the talk around the store.

“I stick a card to the recipient’s time card so everyone sees it, and it’s the talk of the store for the entire day! I think these little notes even encouraged some of my team to FIND something to earn a card or certificate for!” she wrote.

By delivering the notes in a public setting, Sheila has created a culture where employees strive to earn recognition. Present your praise in a public forum, like a staff meeting or by posting it on a bulletin board, to get the most out of your recognition!

January is National Thank You Month. How will you say Thank You?

January 28 – Have Fun at Work Day. Do something fun! Check out our Exclamations theme for ideas.

February 15-21 – Random Acts of Kindness Week


A Manager’s Fresh Start

101 Ways to Praise

The Ultimate Reward: A Classic Thank You Note

Giving the Right Employee Reward


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