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Why Milestones are Important When it Comes to Employee Recognition

Your employees will work harder for you if they feel like their work is noticed and appreciated.

One way to show your employees how much you care is to take note of specific milestones that they reach while with the company. There are many ways that you can show appreciation for how much an employee has given, and in some cases, a simple plaque or special name tag can be worth more than any bonus.

Why Recognize Employee Milestones?

An employee keeps track of how long he or she has been with the company. He or she knows how many account he or she has won or how much money he or she has made for the company. Therefore, it is a special day for an employee to know that it is his or her 10th anniversary with the same company or that the employee has closed more deals than any other salesperson by a certain age. By showing how much you care, that person is going to want to keep going and meeting even more ambitious milestones.

Milestones Provide an Objective Frame of Reference

Most importantly, a milestone provides an objective frame of reference when coming up with employee appreciation ideas. If you just randomly decided to honor one person after 10 years but ignored another person who had been with the company for 15 years, it could seem like favoritism on the part of management or whoever made the decision.

Employees Deserve to Be Recognized for Their Accomplishments

Employees are the lifeblood of any good business. If you don't care that a cashier just rung up 1,000 items in an hour or that your sales guy just sold 10 cars in a single day, why would the employee care? While employees are motivated to work as hard as they can, they will lose their sense of purpose if they aren't recognized regularly. Eventually, they will just do whatever it takes to stay employed and nothing more. Saying thank you, giving out a bonus or having a recognition dinner allows accomplished employees to feel validated.

Provide Legitimacy to Future Leaders

Employees are more likely to follow someone they respect. While respect is mostly earned through months and years of working with an individual, respect can also be earned through key accomplishments. If you can say that your regional manager won three Employee of the Year awards or won an award for reducing labor costs by 50 percent three years in a row, that is something that others will take seriously. That person will have seen to have accomplished many great things and is therefore deserving of respect and authority within the company.

Everyone Loves Competition

People are hardwired to be as competitive as possible. Although we no longer need to hunt for our own food or compete for housing or mates, there is still a desire to be the best regardless of what we are the best at. By creating a milestone to reach, you can inspire your employees to work harder and meet their goals in a fun manner. As long as the competition remains friendly, workers will do more to reach the predetermined milestone and get the recognition that comes with it.

When an employee reaches a milestone, that person should be honored or recognized for that accomplishment. Whether someone is employee of the month or has been with the company for 10 years, it’s important that the employer holds that accomplish in the same regard that the employee does. This will keep morale high and keep workers feeling like they matter.