Your employees are doing great work. You know that rewarding them helps reinforce their understanding of what “great work” is, and it encourages them to do more of it. But when should you hand out those rewards?
Research indicates the more closely praise and recognition follow on an achievement, the more motivating they are. When time is allowed to pass between an achievement and a reward, the brain becomes distracted by other things. The connection between the reward and the behavior becomes academic – the employee understands the two are connected, but they don’t feel it.
Prompt praise or recognition, on the other hand, immediately connects the achievement to the feeling of being liked and appreciated – reinforcing the behavior of “doing good work” and making the employee more likely to do it again.
Here are a few ways to speed up the pace of rewards in order to boost engagement, productivity, and retention among your employees:
- Email praise along with acknowledgment. When you reply to an employee’s email to acknowledge you received a document or intend to check on a project, include praise or encouragement. It takes no more time to add “Great job!” or “This looks good!” to the end of an email, and you’re providing a more immediate affirmation that will “stick.”
- Set a goal to reward employees by the end of the day. If you prefer to give in-person recognition, such as speaking directly to the employee or congratulating them in front of the team, set a goal to do it by the end of the day. You’ll become more prompt and ensure that the reward doesn’t get buried or forgotten under the work of your own busy day.
- Send a weekly group update. Whether during a meeting or simply over email, add a weekly team update to your schedule. Point out briefly where the team is doing well; then mention where they should focus their efforts for the upcoming week. By doing this, you build a sense of teamwork and camaraderie, and you keep people motivated with regular, focused communication.
At Burnett’s Staffing, our recruiters can help you target the methods and strategies that will boost retention and productivity within your own company’s culture. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services in Dallas and Fort Worth.