According to a Gallup study from several months ago, only one in three employees strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for any of the work they had done over the past week. This is a bad sign for retention – employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to say they plan on quitting their jobs within a year.
Do your investigators feel like their contributions are appreciated and respected? Here are a few tips on acknowledging employees’ efforts.
Recognize success, especially when it’s due to hard work. Employees appreciate recognition most when they believe they’ve accomplished something extraordinary – if you congratulate them for getting to work on time, then your opinion starts to matter a little less. If you congratulate them for a hard-fought battle to gain evidence that leads to a major referral to the prosecutor’s office, people really appreciate that type of thing. It lets them know that the feeling they have, that they’ve really done something great, is justified – and that leads to job satisfaction.
Recognition matters most when it’s work-related. So if you’re pointing out some great work from an employee or a team, explain how it helped the team meet their goals. In most cases, it’s easy to tie great work back to the core goal of most government investigators – eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. It’s especially easy to understand the impact if it’s a financial one. If there was a financial impact, either money clawed back or waste prevented, that can be expressed in terms of the overall team’s budget.
Have regular one-on-one conversations with your employees. This will provide you with an opportunity to tie individual work back to team goals, and make sure that your team members are on the same page as you and other team members. It also provides an opportunity to recognize the successes of employees who don’t enjoy the spotlight.