Dont forget your internal communication and employee recognition
Not all PR is about external communication. PR also relates to your internal audience. In fact many public relations practitioners acknowledge that around 60% of their communication relates to employees.
As an entrepreneur you need to know that good employee communication leads to good working relationships, good collaboration and great innovation.
One of the most powerful ways to develop a productive workplace is to engage in good employee recognition practices.
Employee recognition is one of the most effective workplace communication and relationship building techniques, yet it is poorly done everywhere. Despite the unquestioned benefits arising from employee recognition, one of the mysteries of the workplace is that recognition invariably is done badly, if done at all.
Employee recognition isn’t rocket science – it is an obvious and simple thing to do. But surveys show that only half of workers are satisfied with the recognition they receive after a job well done.
And no matter what size your business, employee recognition is a low-cost or even no-cost way to motivate employees.
But what is employee recognition? It is the timely, informal or formal acknowledgement of a person’s or team’s behavior, effort or business result that supports your organization’s goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations.
To be really effective as a business owner or manager, you need to understand the psychology of praising others for their good work, to apply the principles of employee recognition yourself and to encourage others to initiate it in their working relationships.
Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. Everyone wants a ‘pat on the back’ to make them feel good.
There are two aspects to employee recognition. The first aspect is to actually see, identify or realize an opportunity to praise someone. If you are not in a receptive frame of mind you can easily pass over such opportunities. This happens all too frequently. The other aspect of employee recognition is, of course, the physical act of doing something to acknowledge and praise people for their good work.
Employee recognition has a huge communication component. Recognizing people for their good work sends an extremely powerful message to the recipient, their work team and other employees through the grapevine and formal communication channels. Employee recognition is therefore a potent communication technique.
The benefits of good employee recognition are:
· Increased individual productivity – the act of recognizing desired behavior increases the repetition of the desired behavior, and therefore productivity.
· Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work - more time spent focusing on the job and less time complaining.
· Direct performance feedback for individuals and teams is provided.
· Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
· Greater innovation by employees
· Teamwork between employees is enhanced.
· Retention of quality employees increases – lower employee turnover.
· Better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.
· Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.
· Time spent in planning and implementing recognition activities.
· Time taken to give recognition.
· Dollar cost, if any, of the recognition items given
· Time and cost of teaching people how to give recognition.
· Costs of introducing a new process
How you can give employee recognition
You can be a catalyst in your organization. You can start doing it discreetly, not even telling others about the change, but doing it and observing the results.
You can spontaneously praise people – this is highly effective. To many employees, receiving sincere thanks is more important than receiving something tangible. Employees enjoy recognition through personal, written, electronic and public praise from those they respect at work, given in a timely, specific and sincere way.
This day-to-day recognition is the most important type of recognition. Day-to-day recognition brings the benefit of immediate and powerful reinforcement of desired behavior. You can act strategically by only recognizing behavior that aligns with your organizational objectives.
The best formula for recognizing an individual for their efforts is:
1. Thank the person by name.
2. Specifically state what they did that is being recognized. It is vital to be specific because it identifies and reinforces the desired behavior.
3. Explain how the behavior made you feel (assuming you felt some pride or respect for their accomplishment!).
4. Point out the value added to the team or your organization as a whole by their behavior.
5. Thank the person again by name for their contribution.
No matter what size your business is, your managers, supervisors and other employees need reinforcement and coaching to help them apply recognition effectively within their area of responsibility.
If you would like to know how to initiate and conduct employee recognition activities, you can find lots of ideas, and the best framework and guiding principles from my e-book, Creative ideas for employee recognition, at www.cuttingedgepr.com.