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Employee recognition…what is all the hype about?

“Thank you”… Do you feel a sense of warmth and recognition?  “Great job!”…. Does this put a smile on your face?  Does being recognised and shown gratitude provide you with motivation to consistently deliver above and beyond expectations?

The topic of employee recognition is always receiving a lot of attention and rightly so!  If we want to get the most out of our employees and have high engagement levels, then recognising employees’ efforts and appreciating and valuing their hard work is vital.  Employee recognition is the process of management making the effort to notice and appreciate employees’ work and provide the motivation to continually improve and excel.

Why is this topic so important?  A recent article on TrainingZone highlighted ten key reasons why engaging in employee recognition strategies is vital for employee development and in turn, necessary for a company’s positive progression.  These are:

  1. Employees like their work to be acknowledged and highlighted so they know they are a valued and necessary element in the smooth and progressive running of an organisation.
  2. Employee recognition is a basic human need.  TrainingZone comment that author Dave Ramsey says: “The feeling and reality of acceptance gives people the best opportunity to become their best. People yearn for approval.”
  3. It is expected behaviour to thank investors and supporters for their contributions, so why not your employees?  We show gratitude to investors so that the relationship stays strong and they know how significant they are to us, so why not show the same level of gratitude to employees?  They are a just as necessary component!
  4. Want a smooth relationship with employees?  Employee recognition promotes strong lines of communication between all levels of the organisation, which is a key element for successful working relationships.
  5. Praise and reward encourages motivation and strive for repetition of positive, exceptional work.
  6. Remember this simple equation to result in productivity: Performance = Recognition = Motivation = Quality work = Productivity!
  7. Rather than ambiguity around whether a piece of work has been well received or not, ensuring liking and agreement with a project is communicated will make the employee feel more comfortable and increase loyalty to the organisation.
  8. Following on from the previous point, with the culture of change and heightened expectations and desires of workers, it can be difficult to retain top talent.  Therefore, building a connection with your employees will make it much less likely that they will want to stay put and progress within your team and company.
  9. If employees stay with a company, employee turnover is reduced, therefore, costs linked to recruitment and training up a new individual to the standard of your previous employee are reduced.
  10. The risk of absenteeism and stress is lowered through openly recognising and rewarding employees’ efforts.

As demonstrated in the points mentioned above, it is not just employees, who benefit from employee recognition schemes, but also the organisation as a whole.  There are many different practices you can use to implement this into your organisation such as:

  • making recognitions public or even creating an ‘employee of the month’ slot
  • introducing added benefits for reaching targets or recognising outstanding performance
  • encouraging open communication on all levels and divulging the mission, plan and state of the company; making employees feel welcomed to ask questions or offer suggestions
  • making time to understand employees’ development goals and endeavouring to offer coaching and training opportunities
  • to ensure striving for constant improvement and development, communicate routes for career advancement within the organisation
  • TrainingZone also suggest encouraging forming committees outside of job roles, such as activity groups or introducing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and inspiring employees to get involved in projects in the surrounding community

Sometimes the simplest bit of appreciation or reward goes a very long way in boosting employee productivity, morale and content within the workplace.  Consider how you could recognise employees and if you have any best practices, why not share them with us!

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