’Tis the Season for Employee Recognition and Appreciation

As we near the year’s end, we reflect on its many highs and lows. The year may have brought unexpected hardships and losses along with successes and victories to celebrate. As we process and reflect, it’s important to remember the team who navigated the ups and downs of life this year and share with them the meaningful ways they contributed to helping us maneuver around setbacks and achieve our goals this year and to take a few moments to offer employee recognition and appreciation.

The fact is, in our post-pandemic world, a little encouragement can go a long way. Forbes recently published an article detailing how employee recognition elevates employee loyalty (which, incidentally, has a significant impact on creating customer loyalty and business growth). It also creates a sense of purpose and belonging—knowing our work matters makes us feel like an essential part of a team. Here are 4 tips for recognition to keep in mind.

1. Acknowledge Challenges

This may have been a challenging year, from economic changes to staffing issues, but your team has navigated these waters together. It’s okay to acknowledge that there were rough patches and thank them for staying the course and leaning in to help the team reach the other side. No matter what your team faced this year, you met it together, and now you stand on the other side, looking back at the year together.

Acknowledging that you asked team members to go above and beyond or saw them handle unexpected challenges shows that those contributions matter and serve an essential purpose.

2. Recognize Individual Contributions

Take some time (put it on your calendar if need be) to think over your team’s performance this past year. Are there instances when a team member’s new idea increased efficacy or workflow? Who went above and beyond when deadlines loomed? Is there someone who stepped up when challenges arose?

Offering team members a Christmas bonus or raise is a wonderful way to show appreciation, but if you don’t have the resources to do this, offering employee recognition and appreciation is another powerful way to let your team know you appreciate them. You might write and hand out individual holiday cards or make a point to speak to your team, sharing with them examples of how their contribution to the team positively impacted the company and met a need you had.

Make sure your feedback is specific and inclusive.

3. Celebrate Successes

Take advantage of the holiday season to create a celebration of your own. Take time to celebrate your team’s successes this year. This doesn’t have to be a huge event, just something celebratory and above the ordinary. It can be as simple as calling a team meeting and providing donuts and coffee for everyone. At the same time, you take the opportunity to recap the team’s high notes and successes or as fancy as a catered lunch or party at a lovely venue. Any of these options generate good feelings with your team and show your appreciation. The point is to remind the group that their contributions are meaningful and valued.

4. Seek Employee Input on Team Goals

As you think about the new year and its new opportunities, offer your team members a chance to share their professional goals. They may have ideas on how to streamline workflow. You may discover someone’s desire for training in a specific area that could benefit the team.

Creating a safe space for employees to share their vision for themselves professionally and the company as a whole will help you better gauge the resources available and show your team that you value and trust them. Investing in advancement and training opportunities for your team also generates company loyalty as it reminds your team that their success matters and adds new skills and expertise to your business.

Happy Holidays from KCC

Just as your team deserves employee recognition and appreciation, so do you! Congratulations on navigating another successful year with your team. We hope there are many more to come.

As you evaluate the new skills and training that will benefit your team next year, please check out the comprehensive list of workshops and training sessions available through our team of experts and business coaches. We’re here to help guide you using the latest research and best practices.

Ask us about our KCC interactive conference on Happiness at Work. We can present this practical, science-based program to your company for all employees or for a specific team.