Employee recognition: are your people getting it?

Research shows that employees consider lack of recognition at work a significant hindrance to productivity. Appreciation for achievements in the workplace acts as a morale booster, which in turn motivates them to perform better.

This suggests that your people understand the value of a recognition programme, which is a good start. But are you creating the right environment for employee recognition to really deliver a boost the performance of your people and your organisation?

The recognition factor

Having the right recognition platform in place is the foundation for effective employee recognition. But for it to be truly effective, you need to nurture a culture of appreciation in the workplace that is consistent and sustainable. Crucially, your approach to recognition needs to reflect the values and behaviours that matter to your business in a way your people can buy in to.  Here are five areas every organisation should focus on in order to make that happen:

1. Involve them in the process – Implementing a new scheme or reinvigorating your existing recognition programme will be most effective when you involve your people in its design. By openly requesting feedback, listening and taking it into account, you are demonstrating that you value your employees’ opinion. It also helps individuals to embrace change, in spite of the work it might entail, because they are personally invested in it. Ultimately, when you invite employees to actively participate in a new or re-imagined initiative, it will increase the likelihood that they will accept the changes being made.

2. Clarity of communication – If your recognition programme is confusing and doesn’t align with your corporate values and isn’t reflected in your behaviours, it could be ineffectual at best and demoralising at worst. Ensure your employees understand why your programme exists, what it does and how it can benefit them. Communicate regularly and consistently, using accessible channels that fit with the way your employees live and work. 

3. Keep it social – peer-to-peer recognition is a powerful tool and reflects the way we live and behave outside of the work place. Positive feedback and constructive comments from people you acknowledge as having the same values and standards can provide a huge boost for motivation and create an atmosphere of shared success and mutual appreciation at work.

4. Get your managers on board – For recognition to part of the fabric of what makes your organisation tick, you need your managers to understand its value and express it consistently in their own behaviour. You may have team leaders who developed their management style before the importance of workplace recognition was understood. In this instance, provide opportunities for learning and incorporate it into your leadership development programme. Good leadership training should include an emphasis on people and commercial benefits of employee recognition, and your managers may bring new insights and techniques you hadn’t even considered.

Driving motivation and performance

Recognition as a constructive people management tool can have a huge impact on motivation and productivity and the more passionate your HR and leadership teams are about it, the more successful it will be.

Employee recognition has a huge communication component, sending a powerful message to the recipient, their team and other employees, making it inclusive and empowering and allowing success to be celebrated openly.

One way to ensure you are the getting the full benefits of your programme is to evaluate it regularly and measure its impact using the data you receive. This allows you to be flexible and responsive and to ensure your scheme remains relevant to your workforce at all times.


To learn more about how to reboot employee recognition in your organisation read the next blog on the critical role that communication plays:

How can you keep your employee recognition scheme relevant?

Check out our Connect platform for more information on how you can recharge you recognition programme.


Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 10/08/2018 | 0

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