Put simply, Employee recognition is a return on an employee’s effort and dedication at work and the subsequent results. It is held together by mutual respect and is expressed, based on merit, regularly through a host of simple gestures from a sincere thank you right up to the giving of benefits and rewards.

So that’s the definition, but how many people work in an environment where they feel these values are upheld in a regular and unbiased fashion?

According to the, ‘The State of Employee Recognition’ report by Deloitte, “Nearly 75% of organizations have a recognition program (despite the fact that only 58% of employees think that their organizations have recognition programs).”

From the above you can clearly see the mismatch between the figures. Employee’s aren’t aware of their own company’s Employee Recognition programs, which begs the question, what are these companies doing to promote the programs internally, and are they as successful as they would like them to be?

Why Employee Recognition is Essential for Your Success


A recent study by Benchmark Recruit that surveyed 3,000 people in the UK highlighted the fact that “Nineteen per cent quit because they felt “unappreciated” while another 19 per cent left because they felt “disengaged and unmotivated”

If a person feels unappreciated in their current job, thoughts of quitting and finding a place where they will be appreciated will begin to sit forefront in their mind. It can be terribly challenging to feel like you are giving everything in your position but feel like no one sees or values your work. In these situations motivation rapidly declines and the situation can move into a catch-22. The employee will feel that the work they do is not appreciated while the motivation to commit 100% to tasks lessens the longer this goes on, thus having an impact on the quality of work.

It may be surprising to some that the fourth reason people left jobs was a lack of financial rewards, at just under 13 per cent of respondents. People value being appreciated far more than the size of their pay packets.

How it can work?

Positive reinforcement is essential in many walks of life. This can be seen by the parents that gently encourage a child’s development. “Way to go!” “Nice job of putting those toys away! Clever boy!” This is reflexive praise, the type that needs to be put into effect in organisations for successful employee recognition and an overall rise in staff retention.

Notice how I’m pinpointing the praise and gratitude approach? Rewards can be great when given sincerely, but if an employee gets thrown gift cards and monetary prizes solely, then they will associate their worth to the company in nothing more than monetary value.

There is a, mistaken, belief that employees crave money far more than motivation and stimulation in the work place. As we’ve seen above that simply isn’t the case. A nurturing, appreciative and positive environment is statistically much more likely to retain long and loyal customers to your company.

Some companies get this balance brilliantly, 25% of people in the above survey believe they have found their perfect job! However, there is still room for improvement and an effective Employee Recognition program isn’t just beneficial for the Employee, it’s of huge benefit to the company that adopts it as well. They will be rewarded with highly motivated and loyal employees ready to go the extra mile for them!

What are your experiences with Employee Recognition and appreciation in the workplace? Thoughts and comments below!

Via LinkedIn with authors permission

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