The emphasis on employee well-being, work-life balance and recognition has increased triple-fold over a span of just seven months. The pandemic has reshuffled businesses priorities for companies to stay afloat and yield the targeted results. On close inspection, one would find that these newly aligned priorities revolve around the overall experience of the employee.
However, this reshuffling is most likely to impact employee productivity and performance which in turn also affects the company’s profits. Thus, to survive in an environment that is fuelled by heavy competition, companies need to retain their employees by appreciating them more.
Dale Carnegie says, “People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.”
So how do leaders and HR teams effectively appreciate employees in this new normal?
Recognize The Intangible Contributions
This of course, is the unquantifiable effort that an individual, with a set of strong soft skills makes towards the team or the company. Mainstream rewards and recognition programmes are focused on output and its quality, ignoring the individual’s values displayed in carrying out the task. An employee with high emotional intelligence and resilience levels is often the one who holds together the team and guides them through rough waters. While this contribution doesn’t always get accounted, the employee deserves to be appreciated. Had it not been for his/her attributes, the results of a certain project would have been different and undesirable.
The effect of one’s soft skills and personal values on others tends to be their motivator and beacon. Hence, it’s only fair they get rewarded for their silent and important role in a team. The newly defined rewards and recognition programmes need to include these intangibles as parameters for praise.
Talent Appreciation Across Levels
When gratitude is expressed by senior employees, 50% talent believes that it positively impacts their workplace relationship with their managers; as the bond of trust between the two increases. Peer-to-peer, manager-to-employee and leadership-to-employee recognition across levels ensures that appreciation is awarded to all deserving employees. 41% companies that have peer-to-peer recognition witness a higher level of customer satisfaction as employees feel more confident.
To inculcate a culture of instant recognition, credit should be given ‘immediately’ by a manager or co-worker whenever one notices conduct that is worthy of praise. When rewards and recognition programmes span different job levels, it promotes engagement across teams and boosts business efficiency.
Conduct Virtual R&R Programmes
Although the situation is uncertain, the basic requirements of employees remain the same – fair compensation and a rewarding system that values them. With 69% employees claiming to work harder if appreciated better, it is crucial for companies to express their gratitude towards employees if they wish to survive and come out stronger post COVID-19.
Virtual rewards and recognition programmes need to be hosted to show a company’s appreciation to all those that dedicate their time and efforts towards the success of the company. Take time out from work and encourage the team to celebrate each one’s accomplishments. Follow the PRAISE model and draw up an inclusive virtual rewarding strategy that extends to include the recipients’ family as well as colleagues. Conclude the programme by creating testimonials of the winners and share the same on the company’s official social media pages.
Since face-to-face recognition is currently not feasible, it is time to redefine rewards and recognition programmes to ensure that the spirit of gratitude is kept alive. This practice can alleviate mental health issues like stress, anxiety and even burnout, while giving more meaning to one’s job and boosting the overall workplace morale.