About a year ago, Gallup released a study indicating that only 13% of American employees feel “engaged” in their work, spurring a whirlwind of ideas, exercises, and activities to boost that percentage, since engaged employees out-earn their non-engaged peers by 147% according to the same study. One easy way to boost engagement in the workplace is to recognize team members for excellent work, completed projects, or seeing a difficult and time-consuming task all the way through.
Of course, there’s no “right way” to recognize team members, but there’s no arguing that the small monetary and temporal cost of recognition pays off many times over in the long run. According to an infographic assembled by Salesforce, 78% of employees who have been recognized at work plan to stay there, compared to nearly half who haven’t been recognized.
In a Forbes opinion piece, Chris Myers, CEO of Bodetree, suggests that celebrating his team’s wins contributes to a vibrant culture despite the tedious and exhausting nature of working in a financial startup. To counteract the anti-climactic moment when a deal closes, Bodetree celebrates wins in small, sometimes silly ways like team activities or screening of “Star Wars” films.
So what can you do to make your teammates feel recognized and celebrated for their good work? Here’s some ideas.
For one, know what your teammates respond to best. If you know your teammates’ myers-briggs type (a test for personality types), you may be able to respond to their achievements in ways that are significant to them. For example, according to an infographic on Hubspot, INFPs ( like to feel unique, ENTPs like to feel correct, and ESFJs like to know how their work is benefitting someone else. Using people’s personality types will make your gesture of celebration even more meaningful.
Some workplaces are fans of snacks laden with puns. A quick search on Pinterest will yield such gems as York Peppermint Patties labelled, “Thanks for your commit-MINT!” or Starbucks drinks with cards that read, “Thanks a Latte.” Silly as they may be, thoughtful little treats may be just what your teammates need to feel recognized.
Employee recognition bulletin boards or shout-out boards are becoming a popular way to crowd-source recognition. Sticky notes or index cards are all you need to allow teammates to compliment each other for a particularly well-done job.
Most importantly, keep it going! If you recognize a teammate for doing something extraordinarily well, offer your teammate ways to continue to grow and build. Some companies do a special debrief session afterwards to offer praise and methods to develop further. Others offer incentives for outside growth like subsidized classes or workshops in the teammate’s area of expertise. The gift of learning will demonstrate that the company is personally invested in the teammate’s growth.