4 ways recognition lifts employee performance

Recognizing employee achievement is important for maintaining high performance. Photo credit: Getty Images/fizkes

Having recently undertaken a corporate rebranding exercise, I am very aware of the importance of tying in company culture and values to team members’ everyday work experiences. Incentive-based recognition strategies are tangible ways to bring the company’s culture to life and improve employee satisfaction and performance.

Below are four key areas where employees can be recognized and rewarded. Adding these to your recognition program not only helps employees feel that they are part of a larger community and deeper purpose, but also helps boost employee performance while focusing on the overall goals of hospitality and the success of our teams:

1. Recognition by Guests

When a guest recognizes an employee by name for superb service through TripAdvisor, guest satisfaction surveys, etc., that’s the ultimate compliment. Recognize it, and even better, incentivize it with a cash award. And though cash is king, you can be creative in your recognition by giving paid time off, or using a points system where employees can turn in their points for an enticing gift.


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2. Recognition by Managers

When an employee does something great, tell him or her so by recognizing exceptional behavior. Incentivize it! Constructive feedback is important to development as well, but in 2013 a Harvard study found that the optimal positive to negative comment ratio is 6:1. People really do respond to praise and positive comments over criticism, even when it’s constructive.

3. Recognition by Peers

While it might not hold as much weight as guest or manager recognition, employees also like to be praised by their peers. Make time to publicly acknowledge peer-to-peer recognition and share it with others. Consider incentivizing it with cash or other tokens of appreciation.

4. Recognition for Loyalty and Tenure

The hospitality world is riddled with turnover, so when you find employees who stick with you, let them know they are appreciated. Recognize it! Incentive it! When employees feel as if they are truly a part of a team and not just another warm body, they aren’t only willing to stay, they are also more apt to perform at a higher level.

We know that when employees are happy and successful, they create positive experiences for our guests. And when the guests are happy with their experience, they are more willing to return and promote the hotel to others. This makes the owners happy, which, in turn, flows back to the employees. Improving employee performance through recognition truly creates a 360-degree model of success in the hospitality industry.

Christin Bell is director of culture & team engagement for TBC Hotels in Washington, D.C. She is an active member of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers, and can be reached at [email protected].

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