As a leader in your company, you already realize the importance of acknowledging your employees for their efforts and contributions. Not only does recognition from management foster morale and job satisfaction, it also reduces absenteeism while increasing retention.
But what types of action call for acknowledgment? Is a pay raise the only acceptable reward? And how do you implement an effective approach to employee recognition without over-praising mediocrity or under-valuing true accomplishments?
I have the answers for you along with five crucial things you need to know about employee recognition from a variety of resources and studies.
1- Positive Recognition Equals Happiness at Work
It’s been shown that companies who have either a formal or informal recognition program have 83% of satisfied employees versus only 53% of satisfied employees in companies with no recognition program. Also, only 43% of employees are satisfied with their jobs if they are praised a couple of times per year, but when positive recognition occurs daily, employee satisfaction jumps up to 94%.
If an employee is “actively disengaged” from their job, it costs the U.S. economy over $250 billion every year in lost productivity. On the flip side, when an employee feels appreciated and knows they are an asset to the team, studies show their productivity skyrockets with four out of five employees saying they’re motivated to work harder. When an employee is productive, it means they are more engaged in their work which helps to achieve your company’s goals.
2- People Are Motivated by More Than Just Money
Yes, there’s more to life than money says BambooHR in a recent study conducted by the company. The fact that one in five employees would prefer to receive a promotional title change rather than a 3% pay increase proves it. In fact, financial incentives are not in the top 3 engagement drivers.
Generally, liquid assets such as a monetary bonus, a gift card, or extra vacation days are preferred perks for performance over receiving a premium parking space or a plaque. However, any recognition is better than no recognition and perhaps what is most valuable is something less tangible than a check or trinket. Which brings us to our next point…
3- There Is Significant Value in Company-Wide Recognition
As valuable as it is to receive recognition from a peer or manager, when employees are recognized by the executives of the company, the impact is great. So great, that “nearly one-third of employees would rather be recognized for their work accomplishments in a company-wide email from a company executive than receive a $500 bonus that isn’t openly publicised by a superior to their coworkers.”
One explanation for this statistic is that receiving company-wide recognition signifies job success and is an indicator of career advancement.
4- Recognition and Reward Programs Can Be Incorporated
To simplify the recognizing and rewarding of employees, there are a bevy of software programs that can be implemented into your company. A few examples being: Motivosity, Hallmark Business Connections & Bonusly to name a few.
These programs and others like them can be a great asset to you and your employees. However, don’t feel like your company needs to implement a “program” to successfully recognize your employees’ accomplishments. The most important thing to do is to be thoughtful and consistent about your approach.
5- You Should Try to Avoid Reflexive Praise
If your employees have come to expect praise and recognition even for average achievement, then you’ve fallen into reflexive praise territory. Resist automatic affirmations and, instead, be authentic. Give appropriate praise for the level of achievement. Don’t let your compliments lose their meaning. If your employee feels that they aren’t heartfelt, your attempts at recognition may backfire.
When your employees receive constructive feedback, positive affirmation, and recognition for extra effort, they’ll be empowered to do even better work and you’ll be reinforcing your company’s core business values at the same time.
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