The Power of Employee Recognition: Creating a Culture of Appreciation and Motivation
At any organization, employees at every level bring their expertise and aspirations with them when they come to work. And, understandably, they want to be recognized when their contributions make a difference in an organization.
During the pandemic, for instance, many frontline workers put their health on the line to do their job, and people who worked from home experienced higher volumes of work. This caused scores of workers to resign, citing the need for a more rewarding culture. People wanted to work in a place they could feel passionate about and have their hard work rewarded.
And so, we see a collective mindset shift towards establishing a culture of appreciation and recognition in the workplace.
Employee recognition involves open (or anonymous) acknowledgment of performance or behaviour. Organizations do it to show gratitude, motivate and retain employees and foster a positive work environment.
Employees are inspired to work to their full potential when they receive authentic recognition from their leaders.
Why is recognition important?
According to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023, nearly 26% of surveyed workers felt restless in their roles and planned to leave their organization in the next year. On the other hand, recognition is among the top factors that drive employee engagement. Put these two things together and it is clear why leaders need to put a culture of appreciation in place.
It’s not just for the employees but also drives the bottom line. Organizations with recognition programs are nearly 70% more likely to retain their employees, thus saving valuable time and resources.
By recognizing achievements and certain behaviours, employees have a clearer picture of what is expected from them. This gives them the confidence and security they need and fuels their future performance.
Key indicators of effective recognition programs
Often, recognizing employees has zero costs and leads to huge benefits for employee morale. Implementing a recognition plan is simple, and here are some things to keep in mind:
Don’t skip the details
A reward or recognition means more if it’s for a specific task or project. If a recent campaign or product launch has been successful, recognize the team responsible and let them know how they made a difference.
Don’t wait too long
Speaking of recency, don’t wait for an “awards season” to give out recognition. A simple email or announcement during a meeting, while the win is fresh, will go a long way.
Celebrate every milestone
Whether the achievement or occasion is big or small, it should factor into your recognition program. You don’t have to have an extravagant party or employee get-together every time, but don’t let accomplishments go unappreciated.
Make it personal
Some employees prefer public shoutouts, others are happy with an anonymous card on their desk. While it might not be possible for big companies to personalize every reward, lean on your HR department to make the recognition meaningful. They are people persons for a reason.
There are many options for recognition available today – social media, workplace apps like Slack, online meetings, informal lunches, etc. So, there’s no reason not to celebrate the successes of your employees. After all, their wins are also wins for the organization.