Top performers thrive on being recognized for excellent work and will remain loyal and productive if their managers honor their achievements. Small everyday things, such as giving employees credit for good ideas, can go a long way toward establishing healthy relationships. It's important for managers to show employees that their contributions do not go unnoticed. A supervisor's failure to recognize achievements can lead to individuals feeling undervalued and expendable, which might may prompt good employees to look elsewhere for new opportunities.
What forms of acknowledgement do employees value most?
Many managers underestimate the power of a simple pat on the back. We surveyed managers and support staff, and supervisors rated job promotions and cash as the two most valued forms of recognition, while support staff favored a 'thank you' and having their accomplishments passed on the senior management.
Employers should think about what will motivate the individual. For example, although one might prefer the opportunity to attend a conference, another might appreciate something else. Also, it pays to regularly thank employees verbally for a job well done, and praise outstanding employees at a staff meeting so the feedback is public. Also, feature a standout employees in the company newsletter or prepare a handwritten thank-you note. In addition, take your employees to lunch to discuss their goals, as well as department objectives, and empower employees to make decisions.
How can an employee gain visibility?
Provide status reports • Even if they aren't requested, let your manager know that you'd like to send weekly project updates. Be specific when describing exactly what you did and what resulted from your efforts.
Share the news • If you received a gushing email from a client or co-worker, be sure to forward it to your manager.
Start a collection • Keep a folder of professional highlights, such as emails and complimentary notes from managers. You can use this information during performance reviews to showcase your achievements.
Speak up at meetings • Be willing to share ideas and propose solutions to issues facing your department. This will help reduce the possibility of co-workers taking credit for your ideas. You'll also demonstrate that you are truly engaged in what's going on around you.
Take the assignments nobody wants • Demonstrate a strong work ethic by completing these tasks no matter how tedious or tiring on time and error-free.
Offer to help • Employees who show initiative are always in demand. Maybe even join a committee at work to help with projects outside your normal responsibilities.
Network on the job • Managers value team members who work well with others. Get to know a cross-section of people in your organization outside of your day-to-day contacts by introducing yourself, asking about their responsibilities and inquiring about upcoming projects where you might be able to help.
Twitter: @DawnHouseTrib Ema Ostarcevic, executive