Employee Recognition: Why Should You Prioritize It?
In order to achieve your organizational goals, it is always essential to keep your employees engaged. Without a genuine drive to give their best, employees tend to get mechanical in their actions over time, leading to stagnation in an organization's growth and prosperity. If you are willing to meet your targets, achieve your goals, and get the traction you have always desired, make sure that your employees are provided with a conducive work environment. The contribution of employees to an organization's success is immense. It is their efforts that drive a company towards success. The management should, therefore, take the initiative to recognize the efforts put in by the employees.
Employee recognition is the activity of acknowledging the contributions of your employees to your organization. It is the simple act of appreciating the efforts put in by your employees and letting them know that you value the same. Employee recognition allows you to show gratitude towards the tasks undertaken by your employees and make them feel valued by the organization they work in.
It is important to note that employee recognition is different from employee rewards. Employee recognition is an act that cannot be quantified in terms of monetary value. A simple high five or "thank you" to your employee counts as an act of employee recognition. Employee rewards, on the other hand, can be quantified and measured in terms of monetary value. Paid leaves, promotions, awards, and other perks are included in employee rewards.
Here are some of the primary reasons why an organization needs to prioritize employee recognition:
- Better Employee Engagement
Employee engagement plays an essential role in increasing the productivity of your organization. It refers to the willingness of an employee to work in your organization. If your employees are not engaged enough, they tend to slack during work and lack the motivation to walk the extra mile. They consider their work to be an obligation to make money mechanically and indifferently. Over time, this results in a toxic environment being built within an organization, ultimately leading to a decline in productivity.
Employee recognition is an effective means to leverage the rate of employee engagement within your organization. When your employees are appreciated for their work and efforts, they are motivated to keep up the good work and stay engaged.
- Better Productivity
Employee recognition pushes your employees to give their best and take initiatives to improve their work. When their managers and team leaders officially recognize their efforts, it makes them feel special, making them get more involved in the work they do. This leads to them repeating their productive actions to help you get the desired results.
Moreover, employee recognition makes your employees want to provide the management with valuable inputs, suggestions, and opinions on important matters. This is because it provides them with a feeling of inclusiveness. When your team is so invested in the collective goals of your organization, your productivity is bound to increase.
Read More: Managing Employee Productivity in the Digital Age: A Checklist for Managers
- Better Employee Retention
To maintain the smooth functioning of your organization, it is crucial to retain the valuable talent your company possesses. In the age of immense competition in almost every industry, it is essential to note that your employees have alternatives other than working for your organization. If they feel that their efforts are not appreciated enough, your employees can end up switching companies, making you lose valuable talent.
Employee recognition makes your employees feel like they are an integral part of your organization and that their managers value their contributions. This prevents them from switching companies and keeps them associated with your company for a more extended period.
Relevant Article: How to Design Employee Recognition Programs
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
When your employees are thoroughly engaged, they tend to interact better with your customers. Acknowledging your employees' contributions makes them want to give their 100% in the work they do. Especially in the case of customer-facing employees, employee recognition motivates them to build healthy relations with your customers.
It is always important to remember that employees are often the only link between you and your customers. If they are satisfied and engaged, you can build a base of loyal and satisfied customers.
- Enhancing Company Culture
Your company culture defines the morals, values, and ethics of your organization. Employee recognition allows you to enhance your company's culture as the act of appreciating the efforts of your employees is always seen in a positive light.
This helps you build a positive reputation for your company in the industry, improving the value of your brand. Stimulating company culture also attracts skilled and dedicated employees who are willing to work in an organization that appreciates their efforts.
Especially after the COVID crisis, it has become necessary for organizations to focus on the mental well-being of their employees. When employees experience excessive stress and anxiety, their engagement and productivity take a hit. This makes it essential for the management to ensure that the employees have a cordial and friendly work environment.
Employee recognition helps your employee stay in a positive state of mind. Even if they are having a stressful day at work, a few words of appreciation hold power to relieve all their stress, motivating them to work harder and give their best.
Here are some of the most effective ways of improving employee recognition within your organization:
- Engage In Personalized Communication
The "one size fits all" approach cannot be used for employee recognition in 2021. Never generalize the acknowledgement and appreciation for the efforts put in by your employees. Make sure you address the individual contributions of your employees and have a personalized approach in undertaking employee recognition. The more personal your approach is, the better it will make your employees feel.
- Expand The Horizons
Another effective strategy to leverage employee recognition is to expand the horizons of your employees by providing them with new opportunities. When you show your appreciation by associating it with fruitful opportunities, its impact on your employees will be significantly higher. This would not only make them more engaged but would also train them in new and relevant skills.
- Make The Acknowledgements Known
It is always advisable to undertake employee recognition publicly, opposed to simply appreciating your employees in person. Make appropriate announcements, put up social media posts, and let more people know about the contributions made by your employees. This would naturally increase the scale and impact of your initiative for your employees.
- Join Recognition With Rewards
Although employee recognition and employee rewards are two different activities, merging them helps you increase engagement and productivity to a great extent. While you appreciate the efforts put in by your employees, you can provide them with suitable rewards based on their roles and contributions. This would make your employees reinforce the rewarding activities and work harder to achieve your organization's common goals and objectives.
- Encourage Peer-to-peer Recognition
Employee recognition is not always limited to managers and team leaders acknowledging the efforts of their employees. Employees also prefer being appreciated by their peers for the work they do. It is, therefore, advisable to encourage peer-to-peer employee recognition, allowing your employees to acknowledge the contributions of their peers freely. Building healthy relationships between your employees helps you build a culture based on mutual respect and appreciation.
- Recognize Skills Beyond Work
Employee recognition should never be limited to appreciating the tasks they perform during work hours. Inculcating the habit is acknowledging the skills your employees possess beyond work. Talk about their hobbies, interests, and achievements that are not directly related to their job. This makes your employees feel valued and promotes inclusiveness within your organization.
- Implement A Gamified Approach
In order to drive more employee engagement, it is always advisable to implement a gamified approach to employee recognition. Have a rotating trophy in place that can be won by employees contributing the most to the organization. This would add to the motives of your employees behind working hard and achieving the desired results. Moreover, giving such awards to your employees helps you publicize your employee recognition programs.
- Provide Financial Incentives
Financial incentives still play an important role in motivating employees to work hard and give their best. If you are willing to improve employee recognition within your organization, it is advisable to pair your appreciation with financial incentives. This would encourage your employees to challenge themselves and optimize their skills to earn financial rewards.
The Final Word
These were some of the key reasons it is crucial to prioritize employee recognition and the best strategies to implement. Effective employee recognition can bring out the best in your team members, keeping them engaged throughout their journey with your organization.