Employee shout-outs guide for white collars

Jan 04, 2024
Employee shout-outs guide for white collars
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As shocking as it is, pay is no longer enough to attract and retain the best talents. 

Forbes research shows that even industries paying more have faced increasing problems retaining talents in the long run. Forbes sets the cost of employee turnover at 50% to 200% of that person’s salary and the loss of priceless institutional knowledge.

When a solemn monetary reward doesn’t do the trick, companies need to understand that investing in employee experience is the best way to increase job satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement. 

 

Why employee recognition matters?

Employee experience is a complex system shaped by the relationships a company forms with its employees. While many factors contribute to a positive employee experience, most require time and resources, and even more time passes before you see the first results.

So, what can you do now to achieve a measurable employee experience improvement on the spot? It’s time to give your white collar employee a good chuck of shout-outs. According to Survey Monkey, 63% of employees who receive recognition are unlikely to look for a new job, and 82% of workers are happier when they’re recognized at work. You can inspire your team, increase retention, and elevate employee engagement with shout-outs. 

What is a professional shout-out?

An employee shout-out is a way to recognize and appreciate white collar's efforts, achievements, or contributions. Depending on the situation, a shout-out can address a team or individual. You can celebrate achievements that vary in size or noticeable (ongoing) progress because you believe they deserve it for doing a great job. 

Understanding what kind of behavior or accomplishments merit recognition is the first step in giving a meaningful shout-out. It should represent the company’s values and goals. For example, at Google’s company X, employees earn praise for ‘breaking’ a project (e.i. failing it) because it corresponds to their culture of innovation and courageous Innovation. While your organization might not embrace this, it still showcases how X uses celebration to highlight the company’s values. 

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What is a good cause to give shout-outs?

Because recognition should feel unique and meaningful, it is vital to recognize the right things. Steer clear of excessive shout-outs or compelling employees to participate in praise activities. 

A shout-out should be authentic and genuine, coming from sincere appreciation. Here are some scenarios when you can undoubtedly give a white-collar employee a shout-out. 

For a first win

Doing something for the first time is challenging and nerve-wracking. Whether it is a new employee getting used to a job or a seasoned professional testing new responsibilities, being acknowledged for something they do right for the first time is an effective method to boost someone's confidence.

For affecting someone else

Working with someone and being a team player are very different things. Ensure you praise your employees when they support each other - when they help someone with a difficult task or workload so they can finish work on time -  to emphasize that their actions have a positive impact.

For embodying the company’s values

Recognizing when people act according to the company’s values is an excellent way of empowering them. You can write down some guidelines to define what actions manifest the company’s values and provide examples to ensure your employees know what to expect. 

For outstanding work 

More shout-outs for the best employee. The research suggests that novice employees highly value continuous recognition. For them, positive feedback indicates they are on the right path. Conversely, more seasoned employees might view excessive feedback as patronizing or unnecessary. 

For putting the fire out

Quality is always given priority over speed. However, white collars who manage a stressful situation well and fast deserve recognition. 

If you struggle to recognize what behavior or achievements deserve a shout-out, you can ask your employees to guide you. Regular surveys may help you understand what performance and accomplishments your white-collar employees want to see recognized. These surveys can serve as a valuable source of information and help you adapt your staff recognition strategies to reflect your employees’ preferences best. 

“Our staff has praised the increased communications level Workmates delivers. We use it to communicate important project matters and give staff specific ‘kudos’ or even recognize their birthdays. More importantly, we use Workmates to clarify important project details that needed rapid dissemination among the entire team.”

Christopher Baggott Chief Executive Officerator of Medlinks Cost Containment, Inc. and Medlinks Staffing, LLC.

Rewarding White-Collar Employees with Equipment: Enhancing Recognition

In addition to verbal praise, recognizing employees for their contributions through tangible rewards can significantly amplify the impact of shout-outs. Providing equipment-related rewards adds a practical dimension to appreciation, giving employees tools that enhance their work experience.

How to give a professional shout-out or Best shout-out practices you should try out

Now that you know why you want to shout-out, consider what is the best way to approach it. What would be the most beneficial way for this employee to receive praise? 

You should be mindful of how you thank someone to ensure it does not make them uncomfortable or leave their collaborators overlooked. Adapt the frequency of your shout-outs to their seniority level: as mentioned before, novice employees appreciate more frequent praise, while senior employees require it less frequently. 

Remember that timing is a crucial part of a good shout-out. White collars should be praised as close as possible to the time of their accomplishment. Delayed celebration may have a reduced positive impact, while timely celebration reinforces the desired behavior.

Lastly, take a moment to envision your message. Use the AIR method to formulate it: 

Think about the employee’s or team’s ACTION: it could be something specific and defined, like completing a task in time or a consistent behavior that has a prolonged impact. Include a detailed account to illustrate that their hard work is acknowledged. 

Then, focus on the IMPACT their actions have. This helps contextualize and explain why this particular action or accomplishment is celebrated and highlights the employee's effect on the company. 

Lastly, finish with the REWARD bit. While the definition of ‘reward’ may vary and depend on the resources you can allocate, something as simple as a thank-you card signed by the manager or the team makes a difference. 

Keep reading to find more suggestions on including a reward in your shout-outs.

 

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10 Ways to Give Shout-Outs to Your White-Collar Employees 

You know what to recognize, you know who to praise, and you know what to say. The remaining question is ‘How to give a shout-out?’. You can say it privately, announce it to everyone in a meeting, or share it online.

 Here are 10 ways to show appreciation, whether you work entirely remotely or in person. 

1. A Hand-Written Note or Electronic Card 

Sending a signed note goes a long way. Make sure to ask team members to sign the card to express a collective display of gratitude.

2. Company Newsletters

Digital or printed, a newsletter is a great way to keep everyone on the same page regarding big company goals and small professional achievements. Add a ‘Shout-outs’ section to your newsletter to create a space for constant employee recognition.

3. Digital Gift Card

Adding a reward to your shout-out makes it feel more special. Elevate it further by writing a note to explain the reason behind the award. 

4. A token of Goodwill

The best shout-outs are the least expected. Daze your coworkers with spontaneous ‘Just because’ shout-outs to remind them they are seen and appreciated. Use a cloud-based phone system to deliver your message swiftly across the team. 

5. Shout Out Board

Create an online bulletin board or hang a whiteboard in your break room where anyone can leave shout-outs, messages of support, and praise. This encourages a culture of appreciation and contributes to building a happier workspace. 

6. Special Benefits and Perks

Enhance small low-cost perks that matter the most to white-collar employees. Offer additional vacation time, a long weekend, a ‘work from home’ day, an option to switch from full-time to part-time when needed, or a better parking spot. 

7. The Chance to Represent the Company in Some Way

Assist your employees in building a solid personal brand and presence by allowing them to be the face of your company. They can be involved in a job fair, a conference, or a career day at a local university. 

8. Employee Spotlight Podcast

Create an internal podcast to showcase your best employees' experiences, achievements, and your team’s success with the rest of the company. Do not worry. It is easy to start a podcast with podcast editing software

9. Post on Social Media

Do not let the good work go unrecognized by the rest of the world. Shout-out your employee on professional online platforms like LinkedIn to highlight their hard work to your professional network.

10. Shout-out Slack channel

Make celebrating small victories easy by adding a dedicated Slack channel. Start posting shout-outs and encourage your team to follow your lead. Incorporating shout-outs into your everyday communication gives you an excellent opportunity to improve peer-to-peer recognition. 

Conclusion

The evolving landscape of job satisfaction and talent retention highlights the importance of positive work experience. Employee recognition directly contributes to job satisfaction and boosts productivity and employee engagement. 

From celebrating small wins and recognizing outstanding performances to enforcing values, the reasons to give shout-outs are diverse. A good rule of thumb is that a shout-out should be heartfelt and specific and come from a genuine place of appreciation. 

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Author Bio:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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