The best words you use to express your recognition verbally or by text and writing will add greater meaning to your intended message.
David Hauser, an associate professor at Queen’s University, advises from his research on the semantic effect of word choice to “Simply be aware of the words that you use, because people will make inferences that might not match your intended meaning.”
He further highlights that, “It’s a matter of word choice. You might be better off finding the right word by looking at how most people speak rather than looking in a dictionary or thesaurus.”
I am not suggesting that you get all fancy with how you express recognition. But what is important is to realize that how you recognize people with your word choice can become even better than they are now.
When I first met my wife, Irene, it was love at first sight.
Shortly thereafter, I proposed to her in a written letter and we were soon engaged with a ring to be married. This was my pledge to marry her and by her saying “yes” back to me, her agreement to go along with this.
I am pleased to say we have been “happily” married for over 42 years. You see happily placed in quotation marks simply because marriage is hard work. As a typical male, I know I have not always been the easiest person to live with. Both of us have learned to give and take in all aspects of our lives. I also think that in growing in love together, we have each discovered more about ourselves along the way.
With getting married, the term engagement is mostly a short-lived timeframe and is really just a pre-cursor to marriage itself, which is hoped to be a forever experience.
But maybe as we look at employee engagement, we should take a second look at how well we are engaging people.
And if you want to help leaders and staff learn how to give better recognition to one another, you just might have to change with those times. Especially when this comes to learning recognition skills.
According to a Quantum Workplace survey conducted in June 2021, there were 30 percent of employees who considered themselves hybrid employees—working from home and sometimes in the workplace. From this same survey, 35 percent of respondents reported working remotely.
How do these workplace challenges impact how to teach recognition skills? What should you be mindful of in these changing times?
When using nominal reward amounts in rewarding employees the typical options available to organizations are cash, points, and gift cards. Researchers have conducted many studies on the benefits of cash versus non-monetary rewards—what about points-based rewards? Further research by Dr. Patricia A. Norberg from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, provides insights from which these Top 10 Ways Points-Based Rewards Are Super Meaningful are based.
1.People think about points more often. For example, individuals who receive reward points tend to think about and plan out how they plan to use them more so than reward recipients who receive cash or gift cards do.
2.They’ll even talk about their points more. Think about personal loyalty points you’ve collected. Employees who receive reward points talk about their reward points more often than employees who get cash or gift cards.
3.Point recipients report higher satisfaction levels. Employees who receive reward points report significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their reward than those reward recipients who got cash or gift cards.
4.People receiving points remember how they used them. Employees receiving reward points were significantly better at remembering what they used their reward points for than those recipients receiving cash or gift cards.
5.There’s a higher perceived trophy status with points. Employees perceive points at a higher currency ratio value than associated with cash rewards, making them more meaningful to employees to hold up with pride.
6.Points get redeemed for more meaningful gifts. Studies show that cash gets used for more utilitarian and practical items such as bills and household necessities. Points get used for meaningful gift items that employees talk about.
7.Using point-based rewards encourages greater engagement. Employees receiving point rewards engage more with company reward sites than cash, which appears on pay statements, or gift cards they have to top up to use.
8.There’s greater potential of emotional appeal with points. Point-based rewards have greater emotional appeal to employees than cash. Emotional draw creates intrinsic connection for the employee with their company.
9.Points generate greater social-emotional impact. If you want a rewards program to create better word-of-mouth promotion across employees and higher levels of employee satisfaction, then points-based rewards appears to fit the bill.
10. Nominal points-based reward programs work. By all accounts, points-based reward programs offer an all round memorable, meaningful, and motivational option to consider in your reward program planning.
Recognition Reflection: Has the organization clearly defined the benefits of a points-based reward program to our employees?
Recently, my wife and I conducted a ten-week emotional resilience course for some members in our church congregation.
One of the weekly commitments that each of us worked on was keeping a daily gratitude journal. All we had to do was reflect on our day and write one or more things that we were thankful for on that day.
It certainly helped put a smile on our face at the end of each day. This was something totally in our control and cost nothing to put in place.
Imagine what leaders in your organization could do for employees if they thanked them better for everything they do. Here are some tips you can pass along to them.