4imprint, LLC

| Updated: November 24, 2020 3 min read

The words “thank you” may be more powerful than you realize, with 70% of employees stating morale would improve massively if managers used those two simple words more often. What’s more, offering words of praise (along with employee recognition gifts) on a regular basis has been shown to boost productivity and improve employee retention.

And the best way to ensure your staff is consistently getting those all-important kudos? Put a recognition program in place.

As the end of the -year draws near, we offer simple steps to build your own recognition program so you can share more gratitude in the new year.

Step 1: Build a recognition team

Building a team to craft and implement your employee recognition program creates a two-way street of benefits:

  • It allows different departments to have a say in what gets recognized.
  • It ensures that the program is being implemented throughout the entire organization.

The team can also brainstorm employee recognition gift ideas and determine whether they should use team-building items, like T-shirts; useful employee recognition items, like tumblers; or something fun, like a game they can play at home.

Step 2: Determine what to praise—and how

Decide which behaviors your organization wants to recognize. Are you thanking people for going above and beyond? Congratulating them on completing coursework? Acknowledging years of service?

Also, consider how you want to provide recognition. Weekly emails? Face-to-face? A special meeting? Or with gifts and giveaways?

Determine which employee recognition gifts to pair with which accomplishment. For instance, employees who earn roles in management might appreciate a new laptop backpack they can use on the job. A pen set is a good way to recognize teammates who handled extra duties while their coworker was on vacation.

Step 3: Ensure praise is shared properly

As you roll out your program, remember that recognition needs to be:

  • Timely: Recognition needs to be given as soon as possible to link it to the action being praised.
  • Frequent: Seventy-one percent of highly engaged staff members work in a place where they’re recognized once per month.
  • Specific: The words “good work” need to be followed by the exact reason the word was good.
  • Visible: Giving praise in public (if the recipient is comfortable) lets you share great work with the team—it also lets you communicate new solutions to problems.
  • Inclusive: Give everyone from co-workers to CEOs the chance to share praise—and receive it.
  • Values-based: Whenever possible, tie the recognition to the values and mission of your office.

Step 4: Give staff a say

Once the initial program is in place, reach out to employees to get their feedback on how it’s working—and what changes they would recommend. This gives them a chance to both own and improve the program.

A gift for every staff member

Creating a program that shares gratitude for employees lets you raise a glass to your staff. So here’s to their hard work—and what recognition can do for your organization.