Recognition as we know, is a fundamental human need, something that companies should leverage and incorporate in their work culture. To put it simply, employee recognition is the timely, informal or formal acknowledgement of a person’s or team’s behavior, effort or business result that supports help in the achievement of the organization’s goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations. It is usually given for exemplary performance or for coming up with innovative solutions to overcome pain points.
In return, these individuals respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued by others. When employees are recognized for their efforts and contributions, they tend to be more satisfied with their position in the organization and hence their productivity increases to a great extent. They are further motivated to maintain or improve this performance in the future as well.
Thus, appreciation and recognition have become a key component of an outstanding workplace. Employees seek to respected and valued by their peers, colleagues and managers for their contribution. Everyone feels the need to be recognized as an individual or member of a group and to feel a sense of achievement for work well done or even for a valiant effort. Everyone wants a literal as well as metaphorical ‘pat on the back’ as it makes them feel good about themselves.
Apart from productivity and performance levels, recognition also plays a long term role in establishing the company’s reputation among its competitors and in the industry.
Here are some of the reasons why employee recognition matters :
Increase in happiness levels:
Everyone wants to be noticed for a job or task well done. It makes them happy. These happy employees are known to get consistent feedback and recognition from their managers or team members for their efforts. Constructive feedback is important, but it’s easy to forget recognition and to gloss over what your team is doing well. Companies need to take it upon themselves to remind their employees about the contribution they’re making, and also give both positive and constructive feedback at a higher frequency.
Happy employees make happier customers. Gallup reports in “The State of the American Workplace” that employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales. The key to achieving customer happiness, as in customers who want to do business with you again and again, is to focus on employee happiness first.
Foster an atmosphere of trust:
Trust is highly essential among employees as it helps reinforce beliefs that they are there for the right reasons, working toward common goals and objectives. These goals should be transparent and known throughout the company from the lowest executive to the top most manager. In the absence of trust relationships cannot hope to survive and eventually come to an end. And losing employees is not ideal for any company, as the cost of employee turnover is steep and the hiring and training processes are time-consuming investments. Trust helps employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, which is key indicator of employee engagement.
Recognizing employees for their efforts has been known to significantly foster an atmosphere of trust within the organization. Neuroscience proves that public recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after an employee meets a goal. Public recognition inspires others to try harder as well.
It also brings us to our next point. Trust increases employees’ loyalty to their company, and therefore their commitment, which subsequently leads to them being unofficial ambassadors of the company but more trustworthy.
Lower Attrition rates:
What drives an employee to come to work every day? Some of the most common reasons why employees quit their jobs last year are lack of motivation, appreciation (78%) from their immediate managers and colleagues. Recognition is essential to keep your employees motivated and strive for more every day.
More than ever, recognition in the workplace acts as a competitive differentiator, and a key part of attracting, engaging and ultimately retaining employees. It reminds employees of their worth as individuals through consistent recognition and appreciation from managers and peers. Due to the documented benefits, companies are investing more in recognition programs as a way to boost company metrics, like employee turnover.
According to Globoforce’s Fall 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, employees are more likely to stay at a company when they have made strong connections with their colleagues. In fact, 42 percent of people who don’t have friends at work said they would accept a new job if offered one, compared with only 21 percent of employees who have friends at work.
Despite this, employee recognition still is not that common. Many managers have failed to make it a priority, either because they’re too busy themselves or because they simply don’t understand why it’s so vital to a thriving workplace.