What is employee recognition?
Employee recognition is the acknowledgement and praise for exceptional work employees do that align with the company’s values, goals and purpose. The recognition can be formal or informal and can come from a manager or another company leader. Recognition could also come from a peer.
Why is employee recognition important for the employee?
According to Indeed, “Employee recognition is important for motivating and maintaining employees. Individuals who feel that employers value their work gain intrinsic motivation to maintain and improve their performance. Recognizing and reinforcing achievements and efforts creates a positive work environment and promotes employee loyalty and satisfaction.” Employees who are appreciated for their work feel their contributions to the company matter. Recognized employees then feel happier and more in relationship with the company’s leadership, their coworkers and teams.
The list below from Businesstopia shows the importance of employee recognition:
- Employees who feel praised/valued often go on to achieve beyond expectations.
- They are the ones with the highest level of motivation, productivity, and morale.
- Recognition builds loyalty in the employees.
- Recognition improves employee retention. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to stay with the organization in the long run.
- Employee recognition develops good communication between employer and employees.
- Employee recognition strengthens the employee-organization relationship. It develops a sense of ownership in the employees.
- Recognition increases engagement among the colleagues. Employees who feel appreciated are confident while the unrecognized employees tend to be reserved.
- Recognition adds humanity in the workplace.
- Recognition creates a way for direct feedback for individual and teams.
- Recognition lowers stress and frustration and increases job satisfaction in employees.
- Employees who feel praised and valued believe that they have career advancement opportunities.
- Employees who feel valued would recommend their organization as a good working place to others.
Related: 14 Ways to Overcome Burnout
Why employee recognition is important for the company
Organizations realize some of the greatest rewards when incorporating regular employee recognition. Some ways companies benefit from employee recognition are:
Healthier company culture
Businesses that consistently provide employee recognition for work accomplished benefit by experiencing a more positive work atmosphere; one which creates a stronger sense of team.
When employees are recognized regularly, they often feel motivated to accomplish their best and most creative work. Employees feel more connected to the company, are more engaged and often share their enthusiasm for the company.
Increased employee confidence and drive
Employees often feel unseen and underappreciated for the hard work they do, but when their work is noticed and recognized, they can exhibit confidence and new passion for their work. It’s often a reason employees remain at the company for a longer period.
It goes without saying that a happier employee is often more creative and freer with their work. According to a SurveyMonkey study, 82 percent of employed adults consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work, and 82 percent feel happier as a result. And a happier employee could potentially perform better and support business growth.
And according to this Businesstopia article, “While employee recognition is helpful in improving employees’ intrinsic motivation, it’s ultimate beneficiary is the organization. Employees with a high level of job satisfaction tend to stay with the organization for a longer time, reducing organization’s costs of interviewing, screening, recruiting, training, etc. Moreover, it helps the organization in building stronger employment brand.”
Related: Employee Health and Wellbeing a Priority
What to consider when recognizing employees
Understanding the importance of employee recognition is the first step in incorporating a regular plan for recognition at your company.
Arrowhead suggests these steps when incorporating employee recognition:
- Decide what you want to recognize and encourage: living your company values, saving the company money, creating an innovation, hitting goals, referring new business or new employees? Then continually be on the lookout for these achievements.
- Make your recognition SPECIFIC: so that everyone knows exactly what it is you’re recognizing.
- Make your recognition MEANINGFUL: Since everyone’s not motivated by the same things, let the employee choose their reward from several options.
- Make your recognition TIMELY: Share the recognition as soon as possible after the employee met the goal, did the action, etc. The recognition will lose its value if you wait a month before you share the recognition.
- Include peer-to-peer recognition: Colleagues are in the trenches with each other, and they’re better able to pinpoint a team member’s contribution.
- Don’t make it an established-in stone policy, such as “employee of the month,” as that can be too vague and too much time can go by before the person is recognized. Instead, make it random: an immediate reaction to an action or behavior you see and want to recognize.
- Consider a handwritten note. Sometimes employees don’t need a specific gift, they just want a handwritten note and direct praise in front of others for a job well done.
- Consider the “trophy value.” Every time the employee uses, sees or interacts a reward they’ve received, they associate it with the company and the positive behavior that earned the reward. The reward helps employees recognize that their employer truly values employees and acknowledges positive work habits.
- Keep it going. Build rhythm around communicating the top employees recognized and those who are recognizing others most often. Recognize those who have provided value in your team meetings.
The infographic below provides some fantastic ideas to recognize and show appreciation for the fantastic work done by your employees:
Recognize regularly and often
Recognizing employees for stellar work or leadership instills happiness and confidence in those employees and helps them do their best work. By incorporating a regular practice of employee recognition, employees will feel noticed for their work and appreciated for what skills they bring to the company. In turn, the company culture will experience a boost, and you’ll notice more engaged employees who are motivated to do their best work.