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Employee Engagement Employee Experience

The True Impact of Employee Recognition

August 11, 2014
3 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged

The workforce is an ever-growing, ever-evolving entity and as it changes, so do the processes that maintain great performance. More and more Millennials are joining the workforce bringing light to just how little this generation cares about monetary rewards. In fact, money does little to sustain honest and intrinsic motivation brought about by the acknowledgement of a job well done, no matter how big or small. One factor that transcends all generations, however, is that of employee recognition.

Employees Want Appreciation

It’s deeper than a mere want. Employees actually need appreciation. A study by Cicero Group shows that 50% of the employees believe being thanked by managers not only improved their relationship, but also built trust with their higher ups. That same survey shows that 75% of employees feel an award or verbal thank you increased confidence in their skills (which ultimately fuels motivation, engagement and overall performance). Informal shout outs and small one-on-one compliments are personal and have amazing effects on morale as well. Even little acknowledgements encourage team building, leaving coworkers happier to notice the work of one another. This develops an environment of camaraderie and fellowship throughout the office.

It Can Be Simple

Yes, a pat on the back is a simple form of recognition, however, it does get even easier to let your employees know you care about their successes no matter the size. Simply staying up-to-date on what employees are doing while taking note of the wins is a start to becoming an involved leader. The involvement of knowing where your employees are in their projects will help them feel supported while building transparency and solidifying the importance of their position. Transparency will give employees a high awareness of their place within the company and the value of their successes. A majority of highly engaged employees (72%) understand the importance of their role and how it contributes to the organization’s success.

Gamification and Email Don’t Cut It

The use of games in office training is gaining steam as a popular method of workplace instruction. However, a menial 4% of employees find gaining a badge or title to be a good motivator to give recognition to their fellow colleagues. Even though we live in an increasingly technological world, engagement and motivation doesn’t evolve from leaderboards. Because employees that like both leaders and coworkers are 78% more likely to be engaged and productive, a system that encourages appreciation among the office is more important. Though employees don’t need shiny plaques and big bonuses, they still want recognition to be personal. With workplace atmosphere most often surrounded by emails, it isn’t surprising that emails just don’t cut it. Over a decade ago, receiving an email was exciting, however times have changed and sending eThankyous leaves 96% of employees feeling underwhelmed. A hand written note on a post-it note is far more motivational than the impersonality of an electronic message sent from your office.

Recognition is Engagement

With disengaged employees four times more likely to leave their jobs, companies cannot afford to allow one team member to fall through the cracks. Disengagement at work does more than just affect those employees, it affects the company as a whole. Companies with high engagement experience 2.5 times more revenue than those with lower levels. One way to begin building a more engaged workforce is through recognition programs. Organizations with highly effective recognition strategies had a 31% lower voluntary turnover than those without.

The reality is that even informal compliments need a strategic plan. No matter how large or small the organization, having a fully developed process in place will ensure every employee in every department is aligned to company goals and nurtured through projects. Goal-based recognition can reduce employee turnover while ensuring that leadership is recognizing those who accomplish tasks and go above and beyond.

What do you do to ensure your employees feel recognized? Tell us about your recognition process in the comments!

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