Posted December 17, 2014 by

Improving Productivity through Employee Recognition

Laura O. Tolentino

Laura O. Tolentino

Success in the business world is measured by turning a profit: Your business is at its best when you demonstrate that income outweighs expenses on your balance sheet. When the fiscal year ends, you take a closer look at those numbers and attempt to figure out where improvements can be made to increase overall efficiency. Whether you streamline the logistics process, eliminate non-performing sectors or re-allocate resources, improving the smooth functioning of your company is the goal.

However, many project managers miss out on a critical opportunity when it comes to increased efficiencies. Instead of looking at personnel and its impact on productivity, they take aim at other company assets and processes. The truth is that employees are among the most valuable components of a business, and they need to be nurtured and developed in order to reach their highest potential. Improving productivity through employee recognition is one effective way to show them their worth, so take the right approach when showcasing individual achievement.

Understand the importance of providing positive reinforcement

As children, we learn as we’re rewarded for a job well done. It’s no different for your employees as they’ve entered the workforce and come to work in their careers of choice. Positive reinforcement is the main contributor to improving productivity through employee recognition, as it’s not about giving a bonus or a raise for reaching a goal. It’s about the praise and respect earned from fellow personnel and management. You would have no problem investing capital into a non-human company asset that was performing in an outstanding manner: Make sure you show your employees the same amount of love when they do well.

Offer employees recognition when the time is right

Just as anything in your business, timing is everything. You need to show your appreciation for a staff member’s contribution when it’s most likely to make an impact: Both on the individual and your personnel as a whole. Immediately following a particular goal is the most obvious time to bestow praise, but you can use some creativity as well. Consider an announcement on a periodic basis or around certain milestones to get the most effect. Alternatively, you could identify certain departments that have reached their goals during a quarter and recognise the steps over time that your personnel took to achieve them.

Employ proper strategy when giving positive employee feedback

A simple announcement that a member of your personnel has done well by your company isn’t enough, especially when your goal is improving productivity through employee recognition. Designate a time when you’ll have the full attention of your workforce and prepare some remarks to ensure that your message is received. You’d do your homework when presenting to an industry group or trade meeting, and you should dedicate the proper effort for employee recognition matters as well.

Identify positive results as an incentive

Even as you’re announcing an employee who’s deserving of recognition from their entire peer group, you have other goals in mind. First and foremost, you should be setting up the rest of your workforce for success: This means not only telling one person he or she has achieved great things, but also providing others with a framework to repeat these actions. Put emphasis on the specific steps within the process, stressing which of those actions were directly related to the success the company achieved. You should be making clear that there’s a path that is easily accessible to all, not just the lucky ones.

Set the stage for future projects

Basking in present glory goes a long way, but long term goals are just as critical for your company. Even as you’re recognising the accomplishments of one member of your team, you should be setting new goals for others to achieve. This means spelling out your expectations and making it clear that maintaining the status quo is just acceptable; setting the bar higher is what makes your business competitive. Encourage them to build upon previous achievements with concrete numbers that demonstrate how individual contributions impact the goals of your organisation. This may include adult training or enrolling your employees in adult learning courses to upskill and progress in their roles.

Improving productivity through employee recognition is just as critical to a company as increasing efficiencies through streamlined processes. Still, many project managers overlook how important it is to elevate the morale of their workforce. Even if some do recognise the importance of highlighting employee achievements, many take a poorly planned approach that ends up diluting positive results.

Instead, every effort should be made to encourage individual accomplishments in the context of the company’s larger goals. There are productivity gains to be made, so making employee recognition programs part of your standard operating procedures should be a high priority for your company.

Authorbio: Laura O. Tolentino has a long experience as a team leader. She likes to share her experience and to explore new cultures, to travel and to blog because sharing is caring.

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