Why Managers Don’t Recognize Employees And What To Do About It

It seems that despite the overwhelming evidence supporting the positive impact of employee recognition in an organization, many managers are still not practicing it for one reason or another.

The common reasons managers give are “I don’t have time!” or “I don’t want people to think I have favorites”. And then there are those who think recognizing employees will just spoil them and foster ungratefulness, and even turnover – “I pay my employees, that is their recognition.”

These managers couldn’t be further from the truth. These irrational fears and motives have no place in today’s workplace, where employees are expected to be engaged, loyal and results-driven. For companies looking to foster growth and productivity, recognizing employees is crucial.

1. Employee recognition drives engagement and lowers turnover rates

And that is music to HR managers’ ears. In the 2015 SHRM and Globoforce Survey, employee retention/turnover (40%) and employee engagement (39%) were cited as the most important organizational challenges currently faced by HR professionals.

Companies that implemented employee recognition programs constantly report a positive impact on employee engagement, increased employee happiness, added humanity to the workplace, improved employee relationships and reduced turnover rates.

Study after study, worldwide, show that recognition is fundamental to the engagement and retention of top talent and the profitability of our organizations. 68% of organizations who have implemented employee recognition program report a positive effect on employee engagement, in the WorldatWork 2015 survey and 38% point to a positive increase in employee retention due to this practice.

2. It creates a stronger team culture

Regular recognition is also about building a dynamic, collaborative workplace culture. When your employees know that you care about what they’re doing and that your organization is invested in them, they’ll give their best inspire their colleagues to do the same.

Recognizing valuable employees encourages a culture where peer-to-peer support and praise run high. These positive peer connections can translate into greater collaboration on key projects, improved communication and greater employee satisfaction.

More and more companies are using recognition as the cornerstone in their strategies to build a best place to work. 89% of companies interviewed in the WorldatWork Survey report having an employee recognition program, with a 5% increase since 2002. Out of the companies surveyed by Globoforce and SHRM, 90% agree that having an employee recognition program tied to their organisational values has a positive impact on employee engagement.

Team culture is a key competitive differentiator and managers should be striving to build a value-based culture that honors employees’ hard work and involvement. Just take a look at how Cisco used employee social recognition to transform its culture. 

3. Employee recognition impacts business outcomes

This high-performing organizational culture that keeps the HR headlines where teams are collaborating efficiently and employees feel recognized and appreciated delivers an essential contribution to better customer service and has a positive influence on the business bottom line.

Companies who have implemented employee recognition programs have identified an increase of 20% in business outcomes, according to the 2015 SHRM and Globoforce Survey. Another study shows that companies engaging in employee recognition programs experience 50% higher levels of productivity from their workers.

Beyond the common sense argument that appreciating your most important resource can bring remarkable improvements to your company culture, there’s more data surfacing from studies and as well as real world implementations, showing employee recognition makes business sense on all levels.

Companies who invested in this HR practice are already seeing a ROI in employee happiness, retention and productivity. In the Globoforce and SHRM survey, 68% of companies who have implemented a values-based employee recognition program have seen a positive impact on retention, 37% of them report an increase in employee safety, 66% in employment brand and 29% in health and wellness goals.

Image via Unsplash under C.C.0 license