Entrepreneurs are by nature focused, and typically very driven. When racing towards a greater vision, it is important these individuals pause to reflect and take stock. In slowing down and recognizing the milestones, leaders can enjoy the successes, and share these moments with their team.
2016 HR strategies are expected to prioritize employee engagement, in order to improve retention. As unemployment levels in the U.S. continue to decline, businesses will fight for employees in an increasingly competitive environment. Yes, this means the average salary is expected to exceed the average 2 percent rise of prior years. But also, this means leaders will be pulling out the big guns to ensure their teams are satisfied, and won’t stray.
Maintaining happy employees is closely tied with keeping open lines of communication, this includes recognizing the highs, but also the lows. As a new year begins, with new goals and milestones, the act of celebrating successes not only forces entrepreneurs to slow down and acknowledge their achievements, it can also be a powerful tool in engaging employees.
Celebrating successes is, according to Forbes, “the secret to long-lasting morale.” This could be on an individual level, recognizing the great work that one person has done, or as a team, enjoying the moment of big win.
There are many ways to celebrate achievements that outshine the traditional bonus structures, and familiar “employee of the month” award. Groupon celebrates employee work anniversaries by giving their employees a bright green Adidas jacket – complete with personalized nickname. Zappos’ coworker bonus scheme allows employees to award an extra $50 each month to those who they feel have gone above and beyond. Here companies can get creative, it doesn’t need to be grand, or costly. A company picnic, a day off work, or even a slack channel to continue celebrating even the smallest wins all go a long way to defining a culture of recognition.
Delivering critique can be somewhat harder. Forbes also explains that of the average 60,000 thoughts every day – 95% are the same thoughts, and 80% are negative. Leaders need to be careful in the way in which values are reinforced and criticisms are delivered. This can be particularly difficult when it is in the case of an underperforming employee – avoiding cliches, and using a little tact and humility to motivate individuals is necessary.