Today, most organizations understand the importance of employee engagement to ensure retention of their top talent. One of the proven ways to build an engaged workforce is to create a strong culture of appreciation in the organization. Such a culture can go a long way in promoting employee commitment, loyalty and engagement.
A ‘Culture of Appreciation’ is a work environment where appreciation and acknowledgement is normal behavior, almost like a habit for supervisors and employees, without additional impetus from the HR or the management. It can also be called an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. It can foster business growth and creativity by boosting the morale and confidence of the employees.
Here are a few best practices for building such a culture of appreciation in any organization:
1. Involve the Leaders
The best way to start building a culture of appreciation in an organization is to encourage the leadership team to practice and preach. The leaders should make it a point to use every possible interaction with the employees to appreciate and acknowledge their achievements. Floor meetings, team huddles, townhalls, Zoom calls, etc. are all great forums to practice and demonstrate the art of appreciation.
2. Digitize the Process
The organization can make it simple and convenient for managers to appreciate their team members and peers to appreciate each other by leveraging a digital employee recognition platform. The organization can implement Spot Awards and Peer-to-Peer Recognition on their employee recognition system. Such systems make it easy for employees to appreciate one another digitally, no matter where they are operating from.
3. Maximize Social Visibility
Leveraging internal platforms such as MS Teams, Slack and the company intranet to showcase the appreciation/ recognition received by employees are good ways to create social social visibility around the practice of appreciation. Not only will it create a positive feeling for those who are being recognized but will also encourage others to appreciate their team members, creating a sort of virtuous circle. Even public social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can be leveraged for creating additional visibility.
4. Add Personal Touch
While using digital platforms to appreciate employees make it more convenient, it can also make the process more impersonal. Hence, supervisors and managers should be encouraged to appreciate and recognize employees personally, whenever possible. This can also be done over a voice or video call, or even a video message. A well-written and personalized thank you note can also add to the personal touch.
5. Link Appreciation to KRAs
Making appreciation and recognition of team members a part of the performance evaluation criteria of managers and leaders can also encourage them to make it a regular practice. In fact, peer appreciation can be added as one of the positive behavioral traits expected from all employees. Making it a part of the KRAs will encourage employees to practice it regularly, eventually making it a habit.
Building a strong culture of appreciation assures employees that they are valued by their employers and peers. This enhances their sense of self-worth and makes them active contributors in the process of growth and success of the business.
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