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Do your staff feel recognised?

Do your staff feel recognised?

We know that motivation is key to staff performance, but what is key to motivation? We believe that one of the most crucial aspects of keeping your team motivated and thriving within your business is proper recognition. We all need validation in life, and the workplace is no exception. Every employee needs to know that they’re getting it right, writes Mala McAlpin.

Why is proper recognition so important?
It’s imperative that every individual on your team knows that they are valued – regardless of their position, ranking, experience, age, or time spent under your wing.

This is particularly true if you foster a close-knit relationship with your team, where you aim to build long-term relationships and your staff thrive on being part of the ‘bigger picture’. These types of team members need to know that they are on the right track, that they are kicking goals for you and doing the best they possibly can for your business.

If you give no encouragement, there isn’t much incentive for staff to stick around long term, and they won’t be given the sense they are working towards something alongside you.

Even more important is recognition and acknowledgement for staff when they go above and beyond what’s expected of them, as opposed to simply fulfilling their job descriptions. Maybe they’re over-delivering on hours, have assisted other team members when they really needed it, completely smashed their sales targets out of the water, or handled a tricky client situation particularly well.

Now, you may be thinking at this moment ‘that’s what all good staff should be doing’ – this may be true to some degree, but your team needs to know that you don’t feel a sense of entitlement towards their ‘above and beyond’ efforts, and they will continue to go the extra mile on your behalf.

The bottom line is that a recognised team is a happy team, and this in turn means increased productivity, a more peaceful working environment, and a substantially increased chance of long-term commitment. Acknowledgement and gratitude should be delivered wherever possible – anywhere from small gifts, to formal emails, to public declarations or events – never underestimate the power of gratitude.

So how can you make staff recognition a priority within your spa or clinic?

Ensure that praise doesn’t wear off over time. Encouragement shouldn’t just be reserved for new staff members within the first few months into their employment. It’s easy to settle into the mindset of ‘they know I appreciate them and everything that they do’ – but the truth is, it isn’t enough. Yes, they may know it deep down, but they should still receive the confirmation from you regardless. Otherwise you may run the risk of the longer-standing members of your team beginning to feel under-appreciated as time goes on.

Leaving it at ‘good job’ is not quite enough. Demonstrate that you fully understand the weight of their contributions with language like “I can see just how much effort you went to on behalf of this,” or “that must have been difficult because…” Empathy is key.

We take you through a few of our favourite methods of staff recognition – from the conventional to the flamboyant:

Team days
Set aside regular team days or evenings as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to your team as a whole, in the most fun and festive way possible. Take them on a team outing, like bowling or a puzzle room, or to a simple dinner and drinks. Don’t forget to make a little thank you speech, and don’t be afraid to single out individual achievements. This will not only serve as a well-deserved reward for your team, but serve as a little incentive for them to continue their good work, and in most cases encourage further passion and drive.

If you’d like the recognition without the interruption to everyone’s day, host small rituals and ceremonies when a milestone or target has been reached – you could choose to do this in front of the clients present at that particular moment (if you don’t mind completely embarrassing your staff!) or privately when the day begins or ends. Depending on your chosen level of frivolity, this could be a confetti balloon popping, ringing a gong or a bell, or some cake, coupled with a small speech of gratitude.

Social media posts
Ideal for any staff achievement, award win, birthday, or simply an exceptional service, popping a post about it on your social media acts as quite the proclamation, publicly acknowledging their skills and hard work and saying to the world “This therapist is pretty great, and everyone should know it!”

Reviews & catch ups
If you aren’t keen on the fanfare and would prefer a more subtle form of encouragement, take the time to privately catch up with each individual to review their performance. This comes with plenty of other benefits attached – some staff may see private praise as more meaningful, it fosters an environment of trust, and you allow the opportunity for complete honesty when it comes to where your employee is at. Try to schedule these on a regular basis, and don’t wait for staff to come to you – this may imply to some that meeting them is seen as a chore.

While this is perhaps a less direct form of commendation, investing in training your staff lets them know that they are valued, that you see potential in them, they are worth sticking with for the long haul, and worth the financial commitment. Or better yet, tell them outright when you discuss training options with them.

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