Christmas cheer throughout the year!

How great is it at this time of the year?! No doubt office Christmas parties and celebrations are now in full swing. It’s such a great excuse to not only celebrate the silly season but to recognise your team’s efforts over the past year and say thank you to reward them for their achievements and contributions towards the success of your business.

Instead of banking up all the reward and recognition (R&R) for your team’s efforts for Christmas, why not spread the love throughout the year and make celebrating success within your business more than just a once-a-year event?

Humans innately love and crave feedback. More to the point, we love and crave positive feedback. We constantly seek it out in order to validate what we do and who we are. You only need to look at the exponential take-up and success of social media to prove this. How often is your Facebook news feed filled with your friends sharing their successes and key achievements all in the hope that they’ll receive a few ‘thumbs up’ as recognition for their efforts?

Apply this in a work environment and you have the same scenario. There’s nothing like a pat on the back for a job well done to help boost employees’ morale and give them that little bit of extra fuel to keep them motivated and kicking goals at work.

With that in mind, take some time to think about just how often you reward and recognise your team for contributing to the success of your business. If your answer is “once a year at Christmas”, then you might want to consider taking a different approach and dialling up the R&R factor a little more frequently.

We don’t expect you to constantly play ‘Mr Nice Guy’, but consistent and positive R&R equals our number one factor for creating a successful team – engagement. Think about how pumped and excited your employees get during Christmas celebrations. Most likely because they see it as a thank-you from their employer which makes them feel appreciated. Because they are appreciated, they often tend to reciprocate and become much more engaged in the business and committed to creating positive results to in turn show their appreciation. Thumbs up all ’round!

A great first step towards creating a better reward and recognition culture in your workplace is putting in place a performance appraisal process. This process often involves a formal discussion twice a year (at minimum) where both the employer and employee have an opportunity to track the progress of an employee’s performance against key objectives and goals. It’s not only a great opportunity to help improve performance but it’s also a brilliant chance to recognise individual achievements. In our experience, employees tend to look forward to these discussions because they get valuable feedback on how they’re performing and it gives them a chance to ‘show off’ all of the great things they’ve achieved.

From here, you can start to build an R&R program that your business could become famous for – the sky’s the limit! We’ve all heard stories of employers that have some amazing (and quirky) R&R initiatives, from access to exclusive ‘rock-star’ car park spaces to exotic getaways.

Often though, just being recognised for your achievements is reward enough. Public acknowledgement is always a nice thing to receive. Rewards don’t have to be costly and recognition doesn’t have to be an over the top fanfare. Find out what motivates your individual employees and come up with fun R&R ideas accordingly. Also remember to mix it up and have a few different options; Gold Class cinema tickets are great but not so much when you receive 20 of them over the year (unless of course you’re a massive movie buff!).

Recognising that your team is what makes your business great and rewarding them accordingly will definitely pay off.

We hope you have a great Christmas and New Year’s and enjoy celebrating with your teams what’s hopefully been a cracker year!

Janelle McKenzie and Abiramie Sathiamoorthy are the co-founders of E&I People Solutions. Janelle has a hands-on background in HR, her philosophy is all about providing practical solutions that offer businesses real value. Abiramie has worked with a range of different businesses to set up or enhance their people processes with an end goal to help create high-performing teams.

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