When was the last time you said thank you to your new hires?
If you are not sure, it may be time to rethink your approach to employee recognition. Companies that have created a culture of recognition are seeing significant results in employee engagement, productivity and performance – even during the onboarding stages. It sounds simple … employees who feel appreciated are happier and motivated to succeed. Yet, few companies are implementing a formal recognition program that links to their onboarding initiatives.
As companies look for ways to improve the new-hire experience, recognition must be part of the equation. New hires want to feel they are part of the company culture and begin to contribute to business-driven initiatives early in their careers. With a strong employee recognition program in place, new hires have an easier time transitioning to their new role. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my friend and former colleague Julie Zadow, who recently joined Globoforce (a company dedicated to social recognition software) as the VP of Marketing. Below are a few ways that joining a company with a recognition program has strengthened her new-hire experience:
- Recognition is a journey: Too often, recognition only occurs when a job is finished. This can feel frustrating for new hires since it may take time for them to complete a project or get up and running. At companies like Globoforce, recognition happens often during the employee experience not only when a job is complete. Employees and even new hires are recognized when a project begins, stays on track, or even after a kick-off meeting. These recognition “boosters” make it easy to recognize not only seasoned employees but also new hires.
- It is not just about the individual: One misperception that many people have is that recognition will cause what Julie refers to as a “hero culture”- a culture where one person stands out above everyone else. She found the opposite to be true. When companies have a culture of recognition, teams are recognized as often as individuals are recognized. This can help new hires connect with peers and participate in team building initiatives.
- It empowers leaders: Recognition can help new leaders in an organization gain insight into how their direct reports and team members have performed in the past and how they collaborate with other employees in the organization. According to Julie, “My depth of insight into talent planning is light years ahead of where it would otherwise be because of what recognition can show me about my team.”
Employee recognition is a topic Brandon Hall Group plans to cover in-depth this year. If your organization is doing something innovative with the way you recognize employees, we would love to hear from you.
—Madeline Laurano, VP of Talent Acquisition Practice
and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group