8 Quick Tips for Writing Great Employee Recognition

- Motivation

by Lori Wade

The driving force of any company is its employees and acknowledging the efforts and hard work that they put in goes a long way in boosting their morale. Here are 8 tips to achieve this.

When an employee is satisfied and happy at their place of work, it reflects on their overall performance. Each employee working in an organization likes to feel that the work that they put in is being recognized by both their peers and superiors. Appreciating the employees creates a positive work culture within an organization. Research conducted by VIA Institute reveals that 78% of employees feel that they are appreciated, and it makes a difference when their employers concentrate more on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. There are numerous ways to show appreciation for your employees, for example, writing excellent employee recognition for them. Below are 8 great tips to help you get started:

Employee Recognition Tip #1: Be genuine

When recognizing an employee, an employer needs to use real accomplishments and not what they have heard. Before writing a recognition letter, a manager needs to sit down and analyze what they believe the worker has done to help the company. Fake praise may end up working against an employer as an employee will realize that they are getting appreciated for something that they did not do. To them, it looks like an employer is trying to massage their ego for their gains. It, in turn, creates distrust between them as the worker will no longer be able to know if a compliment that they receive from their boss is genuine or not. A handwritten letter, however, goes a long way to show an employee that they are valued. Telling them what they mean to the organization and pointing out something that they did is essential. The size of the letter is not important as long as the message contained in it is sincere.

Employee Recognition Tip #2: Concentrate on their strengths

As an employer, one needs to be careful about how they approach their employees. A statement said in good faith may be misinterpreted wrongly, leading to a disgruntled worker. While writing a recognition letter, an employer needs to focus mainly on the positive attributes that the employee brings to the company. A worker may not be aware of the strengths that they have and pointing out to them that you have recognized this works to boost their ego. They will then work harder to try and improve on it. Praise and admiration passed on to an employee via a letter from a superior are special and some even go as far as laminating these letters and keeping them around for years to come to remind them that what they do is appreciated by the company.

Employee Recognition Tip #3: Personalize the letter


There may be more than one employee that receives a recognition letter from a supervisor. However, these letters should not contain the same phrases, anecdotes or quotes. An employer needs to personalize each letter to suit the person that they are targeting. When employees realize that they receive the same messages from their superiors, they stop valuing them, and it becomes a ‘by the way’ kind of thing for them. Recognition letters are meant to show a worker that their work ethic is appreciated, and if they keep it up, they will be rewarded. Using the name of the employee in the letter also brings about a personal touch. When an employee sees their name, they immediately pay attention to the content of the letter. It may seem like a small thing, but to an employee, it means a lot. Knowing that an employer knows them by name and is keeping an eye on their work keeps them focused. An employer should create a company culture that motivates its employees.

Employee Recognition Tip #4: Be specific

Be precise in the letter about what an employee did that you found worthy of recognition. You should be as clear as possible with the details to show them that you are aware of their accomplishments. Tell them why their skills make a difference to the organization and other workers as well. If they sacrificed their time to help other workers, indicate this in the letter, telling them their teamwork attitude is positively affecting the company and that they should keep it up. If they went beyond their job description to ensure quality delivery, compliment them on it and urge them to continue with the same spirit as it is an attribute that other employees can borrow from them, developing a mindset for success. Specifying a particular act can go a long way in boosting the overall morale of an organization as other workers will want to be recognized as well, and they will emulate the work ethic of the employee who received praise from their superior.

Employee Recognition Tip #5: Say thank you

Including the words “thank you” in your letter changes the whole feel of it. These words indicate to an employee that the company does not take for granted the work that they do. It shows the worker that their employer gets humbled by their service. Although they get paid for the work that they do, some employees go an extra mile and treat an organization as if it were their own. They follow set rules and regulations and do not misuse the freedoms that the company extends to them. Saying thank you also adds a personal touch to the letter and in some way dials down the formal nature of the letter making it what it was designed to be, a recognition of exemplary service by a superior.
 

Employee Recognition Tip #6: Include a story

Depending on the great work that they have done, an employer should include a story in the letter that relates to the employee’s hard work. There are numerous stories about great leaders that will resound with them. When a superior compares an employee to a renowned leader, it boosts the morale and confidence of the worker. They will work harder to emulate the person that their superiors think they reflect and in turn increase their productivity. An employer should use evocative language that highlights the series of events that lead to a happy ending for the employee.

Employee Recognition Tip #7: Choose your words carefully

An employer should consider the language that they use while addressing their employees. In this case, since it is praising and recognizing the efforts of an employee, words such as “because of your diligence” and “as a result of your hard work” should be used. An employer should get creative with the words that they use as they want the letter not only to show appreciation but also encouragement. Words such as “Thanks for all you do” should never be included in a recognition letter. They are cliché and bring about a non-personal aspect to the letter. An employer should also use “I” and “We” while referring to other superiors that agree with the opinion about the employee’s hard work. Using words such as “The Company thanks you” brings a formal feel to the letter thus denying it its feel-good effect, while it is known that happiness benefits productivity.

Employee Recognition Tip #8: Explain

An employer needs to explain to the employee how their hard work is affecting the company. Explain to them how their exceptional customer care service has brought in more clients for the organization. The letter should indicate the glowing reviews that the employee has received from customers and their appreciation of the same. If it relates to sales, an employer should briefly explain how the employee’s talents have improved sales for the company. If it is about improving the effectiveness of operations in the organization, an employer should indicate this as well. All this will show the employee how important the company considers the role that they play in it.

Importance of employee recognition


Employers are responsible for ensuring that the employees are satisfied with their work environment. Writing recognition letters is one way of doing this. Such a letter is important because:

  • It promotes the relationship between the employees and their superior. A handwritten letter from a supervisor praising an employee for their service fosters a positive relationship between the two.
  • It cultivates loyalty from the employees. When an employee gets recognized for the effort that they put towards the organization, it makes them loyal and gives them job satisfaction. It also helps retain the skilled and talented workers in the company as they realize that their superiors value their input.
  • It instills a sense of belonging. When an employee gets recognized for their work, they develop a sense of ownership and belonging towards the company which is essential for its growth in the long run.
  • It encourages the employees. A simple letter telling an employee that they are doing a good job and you as an employer are happy with them can play a significant role in the employee’s output. Their resilience gets bolstered by this, and this will positively reflect in their work adding to its overall results.

Conclusion

We all like to be recognized when we do something great. Employees are no different, and a letter from their superior acknowledging the work that they put towards the success of the company is crucial. A demoralized employee is a threat to the company as their low motivation will reflect on the work that they do. An employer needs to ensure that their employees are happy with where they work and try and develop a relationship that works both for the good of the company and the employees as well. Rewarding, acknowledging, and recognizing efforts that workers put into the success of a company is one of the leading pillars of running a successful organization.
We, therefore, encourage organizations to start the practice of writing employee recognition whenever necessary. What are your thoughts on this?

Do you have any tips and tricks for employee recognition? Comment below with your unique perspective!

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