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When one thinks of employee recognition, most likely he or she is thinking of formal recognition. Formal recognition is important and a great way to recognize employees. It can be something like having an employee of the month, an employee of the year dinner, a bonus, a day off, a preferred parking spot, tickets to a sports game or theatre performance, etc.
However, financial rewards or materials items are not the only way to appreciate an employee.
Unfortunately, some employers feel that they don’t have to thank employees because they are paying them to work. Thus, they resort to only using formal recognition processes. But sometimes, it is the simple “thank you” that makes all the difference.
The expression of gratitude should be said sincerely and from the heart. It should verbally specify the action or achievement, and if possible, explain how it influences or makes a difference to you.
Saying thank you isn’t just a nice thing to do. Employees that feel confident and appreciated produce the best work. The employee will understand that his or her contributions have meaning — that the work really makes a difference.
For example, if an employee hears, “Thank you so much for your hard work today. That report you summarized will really help me tomorrow in preparing for the meeting. I’m sure the others at the meeting will find it very useful as well. Enjoy the rest of your day!” — the employee will feel happier and more appreciated and motivated.
Saying thank you can be spontaneous too. It can be done when walking by an employee, observing good work or exemplary behavior, and commenting on how much you appreciate it. These sorts of moments increase morale and make the office environment more positive and friendly. It reinforces the employee’s desire to produce excellent work.
Below are some excellent quotes about why it’s important to thank your employees:
“Feeling appreciated is one of the most important needs that people have. When you share with someone your appreciation and gratitude, they will not forget you. Appreciation will return to you many times.” – Steve Brunkhorst
“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” – Sam Walton
“Research indicates that employees have three prime needs: interesting work, recognition for doing a good job and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” – Zig Ziglar
“Employees who report receiving recognition and praise within the last seven days show increased productivity, get higher scores from customers and have better safety records. They’re just more engaged at work.” – Tom Rath
“A man doesn’t live on bread alone. He needs buttering up once in a while.” – Robert Henry
Daria Sanchez is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.
This post was originally published Oct. 11, 2016.