Employee engagement and productivity are significantly boosted by recognizing employees for their efforts. Read on to know more about some employee recognition best practices.
What is Recognition for Employees?
If you look at some of the top organizations and business conglomerates in the world, you will notice their unwavering attention toward employee recognition. Simply put, employee recognition is the practice of showing public appreciation to your employees for their contributions and efforts. It goes a long way towards developing inclusivity and promoting general morale among the workforce. There are several tangible and intangible benefits associated with promoting a culture of employee recognition in your organization. Let us examine its importance in the workplace.
Why Is Employee Recognition Important?
A report by Vantage Circle revealed that “44% of employees switch jobs because of not getting adequate recognition for their efforts”. And, “63% of employees who feel recognized are unlikely to look for a new job”.
This statistic shows a direct correlation between employee recognition and talent retention in the organization, and as a consequence, demonstrates its high value. Another telling factor is the high cost of replacement hiring. Not to mention the lowered productivity levels in the interim till then new resources are hired, onboarded and acclimatized.
A culture of high employee recognition promotes higher productivity levels. A Gallup report puts this figure at around 12% higher for companies with a culture that promotes recognition for performance. Increased productivity, in turn, leads to lower cost of business with higher output and sales.
Boost in Morale and Satisfaction
While retention rates and productivity are direct tangible benefits, employee recognition also leads to a significant boost in employee satisfaction levels. This is a proven method to drive employee engagement, enhance team dynamics and lead to a generally high morale at the workplace. It is also known to reduce unplanned absenteeism and increase performance levels.
3 Strategies for Effective Employee Recognition
Now that the importance and benefits of employee recognition are well established, let us take a look at some effective strategies to propagate this concept. Decades of HR studies and research have created 3 buckets to depict the elements of motivation that most employees seek at their workplace. Effective employee recognition strategies should be built around these three tenets.
- Respect: This strategy focuses on the recognition of employee’s performance and contribution. It aims to increase the visibility of employees among peers and with the management through a combination of reward and recognition. These programs need to be simple to understand and transparent, with a clear set of parameters on the basis of which rewards are doled out. The trust and respect that are associated with employee recognition lifts employee morale and empowers them to be their most productive self.
- Purpose: An effective workplace culture is aligned to the company’s mission, vision, values, and purpose. Recognition programs should reflect the same consistently and promote employees to become brand ambassadors of the organizational culture. The efficacy of recognition programs is heightened when they are adapted to fit the audience in terms of generational demographics and the company’s business priorities.
- Relationship: Inclusivity and diversity are 2 focus areas in building a healthy workplace culture and ensuring due recognition is given to employees. More and more new-age enterprises are using social recognition to connect their geographically dispersed teams. This is more evident in the post-pandemic era with increased remote working. The recognition framework uses tools and technologies to maintain the human connection among team members and with the management layer, while amplifying the current business needs.
2 Tools to Help With Employee Recognition
Employee recognition strategies and framework need careful planning. Their implementation and acceptance can take time. Furthermore, there is a need to continuously assess and evaluate the rolled out programs to ensure they are meeting their intended purpose. All this can be taxing and requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Fortunately, there are technology-enabled tools in the market that can automate the process for you and make the recognition programs completely seamless. Here are two such category of tools:
- Rewards Management: Linking recognition to rewards has been proven to be extremely effective. As per a Deloitte  report on Global Human Capital Trends, consistent and continuous rewards programs lead to higher employee satisfaction levels than an annual bonus. This can be achieved by using one of the several cloud based platforms that make the rewards program to be available for employees, even while working remotely, through mobile apps. Companies like Bonusly, Accentiv, Sodexo can be considered among other options.
- Peer to Peer and Social Recognition: According to a Gartner  report, peer to peer and social recognition initiatives in organizations led to a noticeable increase in employee productivity levels, especially for those working in a remote setup. This goes on to show how being recognized amidst a forum of peers validated people’s need for appreciation while fostering a productive work environment. Platforms offered by companies such as Nectar, Assembly, and Workhuman can be looked at to automate this aspect of your recognition program.
Employee recognition is a highly effective mechanism to lift employee morale, boost job satisfaction levels, and increase overall productivity. Using a combination of day-to-day, informal, and formal recognition channels, organizations should seek to recognize and empower their employees to build and propagate a workplace culture that celebrates the contribution of all team members. Focus should also be on inclusivity with a conscious attempt to provide both tangible and intangible rewards. In the current era of remote and hybrid working models, employee recognition has transcended the need to simply appreciate contributions, but has become a channel for keeping employees connected with a reinvigorated team spirit aligned to your company’s business needs and current priorities.