Appreciation Drives Motivation: Why Recognition Matters

Employee Rentention

Your team is incredible, constantly going above and beyond. You know it, and here at Benefits Cloud, we’re certain of it. Today, however, we want you to ask yourself – does your team know that you think they’re incredible?

Employee recognition is wildly important when it comes to fostering a positive and engaging work environment. Nectar HR found through their surveys that 83.6% of the people that took part believed feeling recognised affected their motivation in the workplace. The ties between how much recognition you give your employees, and your employees motivation to work to the best of their abilities, are clear. With that in mind, it might be surprising to hear that only 35% of employees say that they receive recognition on a monthly or weekly basis. 

In this blog, we’re going to explore what employee recognition is, why it’s important and how you can implement effective employee recognition strategies yourself. We believe that properly appreciating and recognising the work that our staff put in every day can transform businesses everywhere for the better. By reading on, we hope to put you on the path to making these changes yourself.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is a concept that can have many definitions, depending on who you ask. When we are referring to employee recognition, we are talking about actions that are taken in the workplace to acknowledge and celebrate each member of staff for their achievements, dedication and character. 

The key thing to remember here is that these should be actions. It is simple to say we appreciate and recognise our staff’s work, but unless we also actively take steps to show our staff this, they may not truly feel they have been given recognition.

The form these actions take can vary from company to company, and according to employee preferences. What truly matters is that the individuals receiving recognition feel appreciated and motivated as a result. This doesn’t necessarily need to come from a manager or superior, either. Company leaders recognising their team’s work is amazing, but hearing praise from peers is just as important.

Why Is Recognition Important?

Beginning in childhood, recognition exists in the human psyche as a fundamental need. Many may recall childhood memories of excitedly showing their parents a picture they drew, or reading pages of a more complicated book to them to show off their reading ability, with the hopes that they would receive recognition for these achievements. 

Knowing that we are performing well builds our esteem and encourages us to work harder. Essentially, we feel good when our hard work is valued. This need exists in all areas of life, but is especially prevalent in the workplace. For many, their career is a big part of their life, and achieving success and self-development at work is a personal goal. Taking the time to give recognition to your team for their wins can have a massive impact on their general wellbeing and motivation.  

What Impact Does Employee Recognition Have?

Gallup and Workhuman’s collaborative research has shown that when recognition is given effectively, employees are 4 times more likely to feel engaged in their work, and 5 times more likely to feel more connected to their company culture. Furthermore, Reward Gateway have found in their own research that 90% of HR workers agree that an effective recognition and rewards program drives business results. This heavily implies that these programs can help give staff the motivation they need to reach and exceed goals.  

We also have to consider the massive impact that effective employee recognition has on employee retention, a large challenge that many companies face. Looking back at Nectar HR’s surveys, they found that a massive 71% of employees agreed they would be less likely to want to leave a role if they were given more frequent recognition. This indicates that building a culture of appreciation based around constant recognition could actually be key in combating high employee turnover rates.

The results of these studies and surveys reveal to us that employee recognition is important for so many reasons: employee wellbeing, work ethic & motivation, and staff retention. Recognising the efforts and achievements of all of your staff, then, is absolutely a fundamental part of creating a positive and productive work environment that they will be excited to keep coming back to.

How Can You Create A Culture of Appreciation?

It is clear that the benefits of giving recognition to your staff are numerous. Naturally, many at this point in the article will be wondering how they can create a culture of appreciation in their own workplace. It may be tempting to start coming up with and implementing employee recognition strategies as fast as possible. Before you do, though, we have some tips to consider that might help you build a strategy tailored to your companies unique culture: 

  1. Evaluate your business’s company culture, and the practices you might already do, or could do better, that show recognition. Honesty is key here – managing a company can get busy, and sometimes these things can fall by the wayside. Remember, the best time to start is always now.

  2. Following the first tip, talk to your team and find out what you can do to make them feel recognised. By taking their perspectives into consideration, your staff will feel that you listen to them, and that their input matters.

  3. Consider your company’s values and principles. There are many, many ways you can foster a culture of recognition – which ways would best reflect what your company strives to be? 

  4. Consider your budget – how much are you willing/able to spend on rewards programs, staff events, etc? Remember, even if you can’t spare much, there are plenty of creative ways you can show your staff recognition at no or very low cost.

Examples of Actively Recognising Your Staff

At this point, you probably have an idea of why giving your staff recognition is important, and how you can begin to  lay the groundwork for the creation of  a culture of appreciation in your own workplace. However, if you’re in need of some inspiration for specifically what you could do to actively show recognition to your staff, we’ve compiled a couple of ideas to get the brainstorming started.

  • Celebrate Special Days – Think birthdays, work anniversaries, all the days that are important to your staff. Making an effort to remember and celebrate these things show staff you take a genuine interest in them, and will make them feel recognised.

  • Invest in a Staff Rewards Program (If you love this idea, why not check out our own employee rewards packages?) – A staff reward program is a fun idea that makes sure your staff know that you see their hard work. Rewards programs often have offers that cater to a variety of interests and hobbies, so nobody will miss out!

  • Create Memorable Small Moments – Go out for lunches together, bring treats into the office, reach out to a co-worker that seems down: these are all small actions that will bring your team together.

  • Invest in Your Break Room – Your break room should be a comfortable and relaxing place for your team. You could update the décor, add new furniture, and even provide entertainment such as games, a TV or books.

  • Consider allowing hybrid work/flex time – If you can afford to be flexible with hours, allowing top achievers to work remotely some days, or letting staff leave early on Fridays, are great ways to show you value your staffs personal time and trust that they can get work done out of office no problem!

  • Showcase Employees on the Socials/Website – As long as they’re comfortable with it, of course! Announcing your teams wins publicly will show them and the world how much you appreciate the work they do!

We hope this article provides the knowledge and inspiration to be loud and consistent when it comes to showing appreciation to your team.  Rewarding and recognising employees is top priority here at Benefits Cloud, and we’re here to aid you in ensuring your team knows how appreciated they are!

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