A manager’s guide to appreciating an outstanding employee

This is the second part of a two-part article

As we discussed yesterday, there are ways that an employee can go about giving positive feedback to a fellow coworker. Doing so can increase motivation as well as make your coworker feel appreciated at the workplace. However, going about giving recognition to an employee from the point of view of management entails a different approach, since part of your job lies in assessing your employees’ performance. Here are a few key things to have in mind when considering going out of your way to acknowledge an employee’s excellent performance:

Make a list and set a meeting:

Before setting a time to meet directly with your employee, it’s vital for you to organize your thoughts on the matter in a clear, concise way. Make a list of specific and actionable undertakings that the employee in question that have stood out to you, which will help you better assess their performance and give you an idea of what type of recognition they’re deserving of. For example, look for a particular action the employee did during an important meeting that truly made a difference for the team. Organize your thoughts and run them by your colleagues in management if necessary in order to have a nonbiased idea of how the employee’s excellent performance is improving the workplace. Once you have established this and determined that the employee deserves recognition for his/her work performance, make the approach to set aside a particular time to meet to discuss the path moving forward. It’s important, however, to make the approach directly to the employee rather than mention it during a meeting with other members of the workplace so as to maintain confidentiality and avoid jealousy between other coworkers.

Employee Recognition programs:

Once you have made it known to your employee that the you are looking to set aside some time to go over their excellent performance, you should see if your company offers some sort of employee recognition program. An estimated three out of four companies have recognition programs, but few employees actually know about them. This is a great opportunity to include this exceptional employee in your company’s recognition program which can provide benefits such as annual or quarterly bonuses, prizes, or even the possibility of promotion. Some supervisors even dedicate a plaque to employees that have shown great drive, which is a light-hearted detail that will make your employees feel greatly appreciated. This is an excellent way to keep your employees engaged and motivated, which will increase productivity and enthusiasm in the workplace. Another important aspect of employee recognition is the fact that it tends to boost employee retention, making sure that your company keeps the best, most motivated employees in its workforce for years to come.

Consider a promotion:

If you have noticed that the employee in question has steadily shown drive and excellent results in the company throughout various quarters or even years, it may be wise to consider granting them more responsibility. During your initial meeting with the employee, you might want to find out if the employee is being challenged enough in his or her daily tasks and see if they are interested in ascending within the company. Things like passing down additional responsibilities or placing them in leadership positions will be an interesting test of their abilities and will also serve as an excellent motivator. Be sure to be clear as to what the ascension will entail so as to avoid any misunderstandings. Remember, you are doing this as a way to acknowledge the employee’s performance, not to add additional, unwanted stresses.