Recognizing Your Employees In The Workplace: Is There A Right And Wrong Way?


In order for you to have the most productive and effective staff, you need to understand the psychology behind praising others for a job well done. Appreciation and praise are fundamental human needs. An individual generally responds positively to appreciation that is expressed through recognition, as it confirms that their work is valued. When they and their work are valued, the productivity and satisfaction levels rise. Thus, they are motivated to improve or maintain their level of work.

Employee recognition is quite scarce due to three main factors. Firstly, managers don’t always know how to provide employee recognition effectively, so they generally end up doing it wrong. Secondly, they assume a one size fits all mentality, which does not work at all. Lastly, employers are likely to think quite narrowly about what constitutes as true recognition and what people might find rewarding.

Six Common Ways To Get It Wrong

Before we can get into the best ways and tips to offer recognition to your employees, it’s important to know what you shouldn’t do. If you’re wondering whether there is a right or wrong way, you should know that there absolutely is. There are in fact several different ways in which your dealership could mess up recognition. Those are:

  • Autopilot Only

Setting up and maintaining recognition programs is harder than you might expect. In order to prevent it from becoming a ‘flavor of the month’, you have to invest in a platform that’s interactive.

  • Narrowly Focused On Hard Goals

It’s important to make room for the ‘softer’ accomplishments, especially those that are geared towards supporting the core values of your dealership. So, everyone from the receptionist to the mechanic to the salesperson should be recognized for their accomplishments that better your dealership.

  • Arriving Late

Recognition is best when it is delivered quickly. It’s fine to wait a few hours to recognize someone, but if you wait days, then it’s not likely to be appreciated as much. If you wait until a full dealership meeting to congratulate the top performers of the past quarter, you probably won’t generate any real or lasting motivation from your employees.

  • Sounding Generic

Rather than a general commendation, you should try to be more specific. In order for your recognition programs to be effective, they need to be based on specific behaviors and activities to achieve specific rewards.

  • Assumptions

It’s a common task for companies to spend time figuring out what motivates their team members. But a common fallacy is to assume that everyone is driven by the same thing. If you simply ask employees what motivates them, you might be surprised to have them tell you straight up.

  • Too Many Contests

It’s not a bad thing to encourage a competitive spirit among your employees. As far as contests go, they can be quite effective for the sales team, but end up being more counterproductive than anything else. Over time, you’re likely to create a unit of disappointed non-winners, which erodes engagement and morale.

So, with all the possible mistakes that you might make out of the way, it’s time to get into how your dealership can effectively use employee recognition. First, we’ll be outlining some guidelines that might be helpful for you to follow, then we’ll be going through the five top tips to get your employee recognition software performing at its peak.

Guidelines For Effective Employee Recognition

First, and foremost, it’s important to decide what you want to achieve through your efforts at recognizing your employees. Instead, you should opt for creating action plans and goals. Recognize the accomplishments, approaches, behaviors, and actions that are geared towards making the organization more efficient and productive.

Second, remember that consistency, clarification, and fairness is very important. Your employees need to see that any person who makes a similar (or the same) contribution has the same likelihood of receiving recognition. By ensuring and establishing a criterion that outlines what makes a person eligible, you will be able to keep it consistent.

Lastly, you need to be specific about why an individual might be receiving recognition. The purpose of feedback is to let your employees know what you’d like to see them doing more (or less) of. With recognition being one of the most powerful forms of feedback, you have the perfect platform to give them further feedback.

5 Effective Ways To Reward Your Employees

  • Form Genuine Bonds

It can be quite easy to remain surface-level when dealing with people, especially during interactions at the dealership. However, if managers and executives show interest and care in forming a relationship with their employees, the entire team will feel ready to work their hardest. When employees feel a true relationship growing, especially with someone they value, they will be content with their work and continue working harder.

  • Provide Employees With Opportunities To Learn, Nurture, And Progress

Showing that you care about how every employee is doing, demonstrates that you care about and value their growth and well-being. When care is expressed, no matter how rarely, they will feel appreciated and valued. Thus, they will be more likely to keep on working hard.

  • Ensure Honesty

Transparency is a sign of good leadership, even with company-wide issues. Holding thoughtful meetings, team check-ins, and presentations will demonstrate your ability to be open to sharing the integral parts with the whole team. This makes your employees feel as if they are being treated to a huge reward and makes them feel like an important part of the organization.

  • Make The Working Environment A Happy One

Although this is more often than not an afterthought, creating a happy environment can be great for employees – especially for dealership employees as they spend a great deal of time there. You should create a space where people are appreciated, valued, happy, and welcome. It will be rewarding for you and your employees and be seen as a sign that you care about their wellbeing.

  • Simply, Thank Them

A simple thanks for the hard work that you’ve put in makes people feel more valued and appreciated. Too many leaders often don’t have or make the time to do so. So, just telling how much you appreciate the work that they provide you, will be reward enough.

If you implement these tips for employee recognition, you can avoid any mishaps from happening with your employee’s motivation and drive levels. By putting in a little extra time and effort into caring for your employees, you can truly change how they work. Recognition and rewards help you, the employer, and your employees – creating a win-win situation.