As your organization faces the twin challenges of strained budgets and burned-out workforces, what can you do to keep your employees engaged? While it may not be as impactful as a promotion or a raise, don’t underestimate the power of symbolic awards, such as private thank-you notes or public displays of recognition. These simple interventions can significantly improve employee motivation, according to research.
To maximize their effect, it’s essential to customize these rewards to each unique context. Specifically, ask yourself: Are you the best messenger, or would this expression of gratitude be more impactful coming from someone else? When is the best time to offer the message? And should it be communicated privately or publicly? Whatever you decide, your message can be short and sweet — as long as it’s thoughtful. When employees feel that it’s sincere, a symbolic gesture of recognition can go a long way.