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Employee Recognition — Why It Should Be Important to You

By Erika Miller
Illustration of a notebook, briefcase, magifying glass, and cogs turning.

Pro-tip: introducing an employee recognition program into your business model is the easiest and most surefire way to build the best culture. Your teams will be more connected, engaged, and happy at work. And, if that isn’t enough to get you excited about employee recognition, how about seeing productivity rates skyrocket, turnover rates decrease, and employee satisfaction surveys off the charts? Sweeeeeeet!

What is employee recognition?

Before we explore why recognition is important in the workplace, let’s unpack what employee recognition is. Research studies have said that recognizing your employees’ achievements will motivate and reinforce positive behaviors within the team, so a company can truly thrive on every level. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why employees list ‘recognition of their efforts’ as the most important metric of success.

Of course, positive recognition can come in many different forms — tangible rewards, events, non-monetary awards, incentivization and verbal reinforcement...the list goes on. Regardless of what route you take, appreciation will help staff remain positive, determined and motivated to continue putting in the hard yards.

Employee recognition makes a world of difference

Recognizing your employees should be a top priority. Why? Because when employees feel like they aren’t being acknowledged for their efforts, it can lead to poor mental health, high turnover, lack of motivation, negative interactions with other coworkers and low productivity across the board.

Employee praise will not only make your staff happier in the short- and long-term, but will also make a positive impact on the company as a whole, from culture to crushing goals.

The benefits of employee recognition are endless

image with text - Benefits of Employee Recognition: boosts morale, increases retention rates, encourages self-improvement

Why is recognition important in the workplace? Here’s what an employee recognition program will do for your company:

1. Boosts morale

We know that positivity breeds positivity—and that positive culture is a fundamental part of success. If you can create a safe and inclusive work environment where daily recognition is encouraged (and practiced), you’ll notice a boost in team dynamics. When employees are excited to come into work, it creates a positive effect; happier employees, greater job satisfaction, higher productivity. What more could you ask for?

2. Increases retention rates

Appreciation motivates employees to get up, get dressed, and go to work every morning. Positive recognition inevitably boosts staff retention, reduces turnover rates, and fosters a culture that retains long-term staff while attracting high-performing employees from other businesses who want to work for you. Win-win!

3. Encourages self-improvement

Recognizing work achievements will supercharge employees’ personal and professional development. Saying ‘thanks’ will motivate staff to take active steps towards smashing their goals, no matter how big or small. Rewarding and recognizing those who go above and beyond will also motivate other employees to leap into their own journey of self-improvement. This kind of employee recognition has an incredibly positive effect on productivity within the workplace and should be used on a regular basis to motivate staff.

Higher productivity

Recognizing employees for their hard work through incentives, rewards, bonuses and positive feedback will ultimately improve their desire to work. Employees who receive regular feedback and rewards for their performance feel even more inclined to increase their productivity and encourage peers to do the same.

Greater work culture

A well-thought-out employee recognition program reinforces positive company values and helps build a safe and comfortable working environment. By encouraging, motivating and giving positive feedback to your employees, you’ll notice an instant shift in company culture. You’ll attract better talent, improve retention rates and reduce recruitment costs...all while becoming the best place to work.

Innovative ways to recognize employees for their efforts

Employee recognition can range from formal to informal and can include physical rewards, monetary bonuses, coursework, events, incentives, and positive feedback. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can recognize your employees’ efforts:

1. Bonuses

Some extra money in the bank? Yes, please! Bonuses can come in the form of money, a physical gift or a free lunch. They will give employees that extra push to hit company targets and personal development goals.

2. Written and verbal praise

image with text - When you publicly appreciate your peers and employees, you tell them that what they are doing makes a difference.

We know how great we feel when someone gives us a pat on the back. Recognition can be as simple as offering written praise to an employee. When you publicly appreciate your peers and employees, you tell them that what they are doing makes a difference.

Birthday celebrations

Share the love and make your employees feel special on their big day! These do not have to be lavish affairs or over the top gestures. You could simply introduce a monthly gathering where you get the team together, socialize, order tasty treats, and sing ‘Happy Birthday’. It means your Party Planning Committee finally has something to do...!

Recognition feed

Who doesn’t love to see their name in lights? A recognition feed (like Motivosity) is an awesome way to give and receive positive feedback. While some forms of employee recognition are managed and decided by leadership, giving other staff members the opportunity to praise their colleagues will not only provide peer-to-peer reinforcement but will motivate others to go above and beyond.

Employee appreciation

Send the praise far and wide by introducing an “Employee Of” program (e.g. the week, month or year). Recognizing the hard work of an individual or team in front of the whole company will incentivize others to reach similar goals. Allow other employees and leaders within the organization to also nominate staff who they think are worthy of praise. Once employees have been recognized for their efforts, they will feel encouraged to pay it forward and nominate one of their peers in the future.

Employee's first day

Start off on the right foot by celebrating a newcomer’s first day on the job. Arrange a thoughtful welcome care package, send a kind email introducing them to the company, set them up with a friendly buddy and treat them to a free lunch! No doubt, this will motivate them to get stuck in and reach their goals.

Project completion

We all know how stressful and hectic things can get when your team is working hard on a project. So why not reward your staff when they complete a milestone by celebrating their success? Treat your team to lunch or an afternoon off when projects successfully hit their targets. Spending quality time with your colleagues outside of the office can help you get to know one another on a more personal level. This will ultimately improve comfortability and confidence within the team.

Quarterly and end of year celebrations

Once you have reached the end of a busy quarter or the completion of the financial year, a great way to show appreciation is to throw an event or host a celebration to honour the company-wide efforts. There are countless ways you can do this — fun team days out, classes, entertainment performances, courses, Christmas parties, organized activities and delicious lunches.

How to introduce an employee recognition program into the workplace

image with text - When you prioritize recognition in the workplace,  your employees are happier, more loyal, and eager to do their part and crush company goals.

When you prioritize recognition in the workplace, your employees are happier, more loyal, and eager to do their part and crush company goals. While every workplace varies, introducing a regular employee recognition program relevant to your business model will lead to many benefits — a boost in morale, higher retention rates, a culture of self-improvement, increased productivity and creating a safe environment to work. It can come in many different formal and informal ways, including celebrating project completion, communication of positive feedback, rewards, bonuses and appreciation events. To cultivate a positive company culture, employee recognition should be an essential part of an organization's ongoing strategy.

To understand more about why recognition is so important in the workplace and how your organization can introduce employee recognition strategies into your business practices, reach out to Motivosity today.

Through our employee recognition and feedback software, you will grasp how best to recognize and praise your employees through encouragement, rewards and positive reinforcement. You will also learn how you can build a happier, more engaged workforce. To find out more, call on (801) 758-7188 or head online to read about our products, pricing and additional resources.