Thanks and praise for a job well done feel good. But recognition happens far less often than it should in our work environments. And employees have noticed.
Reward Gateway found that 85 percent of employees think managers and leaders should spot good work and give praise in the moment, and 81 percent of employees think this should happen on a continuous, year-round basis. Additionally, this study also found that 70 percent of employees say motivation and morale would improve if managers simply started saying “thank you” more. Yet Gallup reports that 65 percent of employees hadn’t received any form of recognition for good work within the past year.
When asked what leaders could do to improve employee engagement, 58 percent of respondents in a Psychometrics study replied, “Give recognition and praise.” And in another survey by Socialcast, 69 percent of employees said they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. Clearly, recognition matters.
Employee recognition is a company’s most valuable currency
Employees typically value praise more than other tangible forms of reward, including cash. According to Officevibe, 83 percent of surveyed employees said it’s better to give someone praise than a gift.
Employees want to appreciate each other as well—and when they do, it boosts a company’s bottom line. With this in mind, peer-to-peer recognition is a powerful force. Notably, it’s nearly 36 percent more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce.
Five quick ways to make recognition fun
Employee recognition doesn’t have to take the form of simple praise and thank you’s. Here are some simple creative ideas anyone can do—including you!
- Give someone who’s deserving a standing ovation.
- Ring a bell or gong to celebrate a big sale or major achievement.
- Highlight photos of hardworking employees in company PowerPoint presentations.
- Create a project scrapbook for your team with pictures and stories of good work.
- After meeting a goal or initiative, have executives make breakfast for the team.
The bottom line
What gets recognized gets repeated. Often, this idea is referred to by many as, “the greatest management principle in the world.” By recognizing good work, you encourage more of it.
You don’t need a budget to start. In fact, the most powerful forms of employee recognition tend to cost little, if any, money. A word of thanks in person, a written note, or an email can go a long way.
Employee recognition is contagious. It doesn’t just feel good to receive recognition. It also feels good to give it, so take the time to do so and pass it on!
Mario Tamayo, a principal with Tamayo Group Inc., and Bob Nelson, president of Nelson Motivation Inc. co-authored this piece. They also co-authored Work Made Fun Gets Done! Easy Ways to Boost Energy, Morale, and Results, available wherever books are sold.