How to improve morale and earn PR with employee recognition

How to improve morale and earn PR with employee recognition

Announcing employee accomplishments to customers and the general public helps improve staff morale and generates beneficial PR for small companies. Surveys show that recognition is a key factor in keeping workers happy. Employees who receive promotions, obtain industry certifications, speak at conferences or achieve other notable accomplishments should be given shout outs in customer newsletters, on your website and in local media outlets.

Why external announcements are beneficial

When you recognize your employees outside the company, the public notices that your company values its employees. This helps your company become a more desirable place to work, or what’s called “an employer of choice.” When people see that an employee is obtaining success and staying with your company, it’s a sign that others are also likely to enjoy working there.

Check out these ideas for announcing employee achievements:

  1. Announcements should focus on the employee

    Press releases you send to external media outlets should focus on the employee’s achievements, followed by a short (one-sentence) description of your company. If your press release talks too much about your company, especially its products or services, the media outlet will see your release as an attempt to get free advertising. Check out these tips for how to write a press release for free advertising.

  2. Send announcements to hometown media outlets

    Ask an employee who has been promoted, attained a certification, reached a significant milestone with the organization or earned another noteworthy achievement if you can send a press release to his or her hometown news outlets. This will often be the employee’s local newspaper.

  3. Don’t forget alumni magazines

    Many people send news about themselves to their high school newsletters or college alumni magazines. Help employees out by sending their schools a press release about the alumnus on your company letterhead. Not only will you be doing your employees a favor, you’ll be introducing yourself to the many alumni at those schools. Check out a copy of the employee’s alumni magazine before you send a press release to see how the school handles announcements so you aren’t too long or detailed. You might craft a short announcement and ask the employee to submit the news to her alma mater, which she might prefer.

  4. Notify industry associations

    National, state and local trade associations and professional societies, down to the chapter level, often have a “People in the News” or “Professional Spotlight” section in their publications. Look for these types of editorial opportunities to spotlight your employees.

  5. Add employees to your ads

    If you’re an advertiser in a local newspaper or a national trade magazine, consider adding an employee nod or spotlight at the bottom of your ad. Consumers and companies often prefer to do business with a person or group of people, rather than a faceless organization. Making your business more personal with employee shout-outs helps put a face on your company.

  6. Populate your website with employee profiles

    You might consider spotlighting employees on different pages of your company website. You’ll notice that some websites you visit simply use pictures of their employees in work situations, rather than using stock photos of office workers. Add the employee’s name and title under the picture and you’ve created a more personal experience for customers and a nice way to recognize your staff.

  7. Add recognition announcements to customer newsletters

    Customers want to know that they are dealing with top-quality professionals at every step of their interaction with you, especially when it comes to post-purchase customer service. Let your clients know about the achievements of your staff so customers will feel more confident buying from you.

What to announce

When you make announcements about employee achievements, avoid announcing simple achievements that occur at most companies, such as a five-year anniversary or completing a first-aid course. It’s appropriate to let your customers know who your employee of the month is on your website or customer newsletter, but that doesn’t warrant a press release to an alumni magazine or local newspaper.

Examples of achievements to promote externally include:

  • Earning a certification from a trade association or professional association
  • Being promoted to a new job with a new title
  • Receiving an award from a third-party organization
  • Speaking at a national conference, especially out of the country
  • Earning an undergraduate or graduate degree
  • A long-term work anniversary
  • Announcements of new hires to key positions