Implementing Employee Recognition Programs with Employee Feedback
Using “Languages of Appreciation” To Implement Employee Recognition Programs
In our last post, we saw research that revealed how important employee recognition is in the current job market with statistics on preferred types of recognition. Now that we know it’s important, you might be thinking “What next?” or “Where do I even begin?”. There are many ways to start this process, but here is what we did to successfully build recognition programs with employee feedback at Networkers Funding.
During one of our employee focus groups, we read the book “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Some of us were fans of his book for personal relationships, the 5 Love Languages, so we wanted to get his take on workplace appreciation. The book outlines the 4 types of languages of appreciation in the workplace, and includes a questionnaire for employees to fill out and identify what their language of appreciation is. We liked the idea that each person could identify with one or two languages of appreciation in a measurable way and that there were recommendations on actionable things the employer could do – and maybe more importantly, not do – to show appreciation for each type. We decided to give it a try.
First, we had all of our employees complete the questionnaire so that we could better understand what makes our employees feel appreciated. We also communicated to them why collecting this information was important for our organization. Many people learned something about themselves while filling this out!
We then collected and analyzed the results and used that information to identify what languages of appreciation were most important to our employees. 71% of our employees fit into the “words of affirmation” language of appreciation category. Knowing this allowed us to brainstorm ways that we could significantly improve our employee recognition, paying particular attention to the “words of affirmation” category.
Some of the recommended communication/actions from the book were:
- kind words
- sending notes/cards
We did receive some positive feedback when we sent out the questionnaire stating that it was “cool that management wanted to know this”. We also try and pay attention to feedback we are getting as the recognition occurs. For example, when we receive positive feedback from a client for one of our employees, we like to share that in our communications software so that other people can join in the recognition and excitement. The feedback on these types of posts is overwhelmingly positive and there is a lot of positive interaction among employees.
Keep Talking About It
We continue to send this questionnaire out to new employees and analyze the results. We also discuss it at every management meeting so that it stays at the forefront of everyone’s mind and so that we can keep brainstorming ways to improve/modify our current recognition programs. The employee recognition programs that we have in place now will not be the only ones we ever implement. Our goal is to be proactive and creative with employee recognition.