Employee Rewards and Recognition - How to Recognize Employees

So a guy is out fishing and he sees a snake, and the snakes got a frog in his mouth. He decides to rescue the frog, but now the snake looks really sad, and the guy doesn't have anything to give him. He just has some bourbon. He puts a few drops of bourbon in the snake's mouth, and the snake swims off happy. Well, a few minutes pass and the snake comes back, and he's got two frogs in his mouth. The lesson is what gets rewarded gets done.

That story is from a book called The Greatest Management Principle in the World, by Michael LeBoeuf. It was a book that was really important to me. I think I read it back in like 1994 when it first came out, and I was a supervisor on a nuclear-powered submarine, and I learned a lot from that and was able to apply in my job. 

Obviously this week we're going to be talking about employee rewards and recognition. Make sure you stick around at the end for a special bonus.

Hi, I'm Roman Ryder, and on this channel, I talk about strategies for leadership and personal development. If you're new to my channel make sure you subscribe. I put out new videos every Friday, and you don't want to miss out. 

Alright, so tip number one is recognition needs to be timely. You don't want people wondering what they're being recognized for because it's been so long that they've forgotten and don't know what you're talking about. The longest I would ever recommend going is a week. I used to use that for one company I worked at that had a computer system for recognition. I'd keep a list on my desk of everything that happened that week, who did it, what they did, and at the end of the week I'd go in all at once and give everybody recognition. 

Now that doesn't mean that during the week I wasn't doing other things to recognize people as well. At the end of this video that's going to be the bonus I kind of alluded to. I'm going to give you some specific examples of my favorite ways to recognize people.

Tip number two is recognition needs to be specific. You don't want to just tell people hey great job. Well, great job of what? Try and make the recognition ... Give some specific examples. Also if you can tie it back to your values of your company, or your business to your vision, as I've talked about in the past. It's great to have a vision to kind of give people guidance, and then recognize the behaviors that are consistent with the vision. Make sure you give people specific examples so they know why they're being recognized in the first place.

Tip number three is recognition is meaningful. You want it to have meaning to the person, and each person is different, so you need to figure out what is meaningful to that person. For one person they may want to be recognized in front of a group. For another person that's introverted, that may be their worst nightmare, so that's not the most meaningful way to recognize them. They may want you to send a card to their home, so their family sees that they're doing a good job at work. Everybody's different, everybody gives different meanings to different recognitions, so you just kind of have to experiment, and know your people, and figure out what works best for each person.

Alright so now it's time for today's bonus, and that is I'm going to share some of my favorite ways to recognize employees. I'm going to use a cheat sheet for this because I have quite a few of them. Breakfast is always welcome. People love food, doughnuts, or if you're Louisiana like me kolaches are a favorite. Ice cream in the hot months of summer, people love ice cream. Can't go wrong with it. 

You can take people out to lunch. Something that some of my past groups are still talking is I came in on Christmas Eve day, took time away from my family, and brought sandwich trays. It was at a place that was 24 hours a day, so I brought four sandwich trays. One for Christmas Eve day, one for Christmas Eve night, one for Christmas Day, one for Christmas night, and people are still talking about that.

Alright. You can send cards as I mentioned. You can send them for birthdays, you can send them for holidays, you can send them for something good they did at work. You can also keep cards at work. I always kept a pack of cards at my desk, and I would just do some handwritten notes sometimes. It might be to an individual, it might be to a group. People posted those on bulletin boards and kept them for months and months. 

I've done things like fill my pockets up with candy, and just gone out in the field and walked around. When I saw people doing good things I went and handed them candy, or sometimes it was just a conversation starter to kind of find out what they were up to, and get to know them. You can invite somebody higher up your organization to come recognize somebody in a group setting, like in a meeting, or something, training, things like that. Bringing somebody that's really, them recognizing a person is going to blow them away, and be really meaningful to them. 

Let's see. Of course, like I mentioned, electronic. Electronic is not always the best way, but some companies do use that. Something I did is I always added nice pictures if you have that ability in your software. I've added some really cool like motivational type pictures. Do a really good write-up, as I mentioned be specific, and just really good detailed write-up, and then print it out. Not only was it on the electronic system, I printed it out and posted it in our workplace, so everybody saw who was getting recognized, and for what. That was a little more meaningful way to do that.

I think that's about it for today. If you have any questions about recognition hit me up. I've actually put together recognition programs for some companies in the past, and it's something I'm really passionate about, so I hope this video has helped you. If you liked this video please like it below, share it with your friends and make sure you subscribe. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.