Here’s some truth: Employees, irrespective of level, want to be valued for their day to day work. And by work, we will not limit the definition to the quality of output but also the course employees take to get to the finish line e.g. level of commitment in delivering the impossible, working with passion and grace, carrying out a tough assignment ahead of deadline, influencing and motivating colleagues while motivating oneself which brings out better work results, happily extending office hours to ease a colleague’s work load, and the like.
Through self-assessment, an employee can easily identify his achievements—big and small. But does his direct manager keep tabs on those feats? Is management earmarking a slice of their time to send “thank you” notes to employees?
Defining Informal Employee Recognition
Informal recognition materializes whenever a company uses positive reinforcement through the demonstration of non-material rewards like a simple pat in the back, saying “good job” or sending a simple note of thanks via e-mail.
At 360training.com, an informal recognition platform called Great Job was developed to provide instantaneous commendation to its employees. A manager will write a short citation and sends the acknowledgment to Great Job e-mail distribution which goes straight to the inbox of every employee across three countries. It’s immediate, genuine and even assures 100% penetration rate.
Raising the Bar Higher
There is an extensive list of credible reasons to reward employees since informal recognition could be an individual’s perception of an event or employee behavior and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the entire company. But to make it simple, we recognize someone who exceeds expectations—someone who have raised the bar higher at work. Here are some examples:
- Accomplishing a difficult task ahead of deadline
- Demonstration of a pioneering policy that may be applied straightway
- Exemplary coordination demonstrated by team members for a company activity or a social cause
- Flawless implementation of a new program to clients
- Consistency in performance
- Any exceptional effort assumed during inimitable or challenging situations that else would not have fashioned the anticipated outcomes.
How else should we informally recognize employees?
Informal recognition may be granted to acknowledge the execution of an employee. Some examples of non-monetary rewards are:
- Customized recognition cards
- Certificates signed by CEO
- Endorsement to professional development trainings and workshops
- Endorsement to professional events to represent the company
- Gift items such as movie tickets, spa certificates, mugs and company jackets
- Company-sponsored team lunch
The program itself strengthens the link between a manager and his staffs, and also improves the business’s overall performance with higher employee morale, lower turnover rates, reduced attendance issues and fewer grievances.
For sustainable employee satisfaction, it is important that the support of Top Management is evident when rolling the initiatives. Executives should believe in the power of this program and must be out there utilizing it themselves. This form of intervention can renovate the culture of any organization into a motivated and gratified business minus the hefty effort and cost you put in formal recognition events.