Every company would love to have motivated, enthusiastic employees, who stay and work well at their job for many years. This saves money, time, and training hours. A bad retention rate costs many hours of explaining procedures and policies to new employees. So what is the best way to keep employees motivated? Recognition for the good qualities and services that they bring to the job.

Let’s look at a few ways to positively acknowledge employees and their important efforts.

1. Be specific and direct with your praise. If you are too general, then the employee may not understand exactly what to do as well or better next time. A “good job,” for example, is not as powerful as “I appreciate how you handled that difficult situation,” or “thank you for taking charge of *specific task* today.”

2. Recognize someone immediately. The best and most effective way to make an employee feel appreciated is by saying something instantly when they are providing a good service or in the process of doing excellent work. 

3. Reward appropriately. A ten-year anniversary with the company deserves a bonus. One good sales call may warrant a compliment and a specialty coffee. There can be several levels of recognition. Have a clear sense of rewards for each level. 

4. Design a recognition program. Many companies have “employee of the month” or “manager of the year.” While those standard programs may sound a little cheesy, they are still motivators for many employees.
Other employees may need another type of incentive, such as a bonus scheme, or team-building days.
There are many types of programs. Smaller bursts of recognition will build morale more effectively than one large incentive once a year.

5. Small and often is best. The small but frequent gestures of recognition will keep employees feeling valued year-round. They will feel more confident that what they bring to their job is worthwhile and important to the company as a whole.

No matter how large or small your company, implementing these tips can uplift employees. They will feel appreciated, which in turn causes them to be more productive, creative, and engaged in their work. Establishing programs that bring a positive energy to the workplace will help employees work as a team and build community.