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The ROI of Employee Recognition Software

By Scott Johnson
Illustration of various types of charts.

Appreciation isn't a perk, it's a competency

Goal: Turn that frown upside down

Everyone is talking about recognition, appreciation, employee engagement and culture. You have to start somewhere. We contend that the easiest step to take is by creating a core competency of appreciation in your company.

Why? Because appreciation leads to trust and loyalty. Trust and loyalty lead to higher engagement, stronger culture, higher productivity, and happier customers.

The cost of the ‘underappreciateds’

We’ve all heard the addage, “You join your company and quit your boss”. Why quit the boss? Usually because the boss is a big idiot who doesn’t understand how to show the least degree of appreciation.

“Underappreciated” is a nice way of saying disgruntled, or just angry and willing to ‘stick it to the big man’. This contingent in your company is a potential disaster ready to strike.

Conan & NBC

Remember Conan O’Brien’s last week on the air with NBC? The spurned talk show host felt NBC was casting him aside. In an effort to ‘stick it to the big man’, Conan put on a week of the most expensive shows ever, including buying a Bugatti Veyron and decorating it with mouse ears while paying $1.5 million to play the Rolling Stones, “Can’t get no Satisfaction”. Says Conan, “For the rest of the week, we’re going to introduce new comedy bits that aren’t so much funny as they are crazy expensive. There it is, the most expensive car in the world... dressed as a mouse,” he boasted as the Rolling Stones’ song “Satisfaction” played in the background.

“Let me ask you a question,” he continued. “Is this appropriate music for a car that looks like a mouse? No! Does it add anything at all to this comedy bit? No, it doesn’t. Is it crazy expensive to play on the air, not to mention the rights to re-air this clip on the Internet? Yes!”

Ben Farrell & Apple

An Apple manager, Ben Farrell, publicly blogged about his reasons for quitting. His scathing article highlighted the company’s lack of respect for the individual and lack of team spirit amongst co-workers. Apple’s stock fell by $2 that day (1.5%). Nobody could say that this blog was a factor, but the price drop affected Apple’s market cap by almost $9 billion that day. Ben’s blog continues to be quoted in business publications to this day.

We could go on with many examples of how underappreciated employees can cost you big money... find your own example and tweet it with #ThanksMatters and we’ll send you a shirt.

Changing your game plan

Who is feeling underappreciated in your company? According to a recent Gallup poll, 65% of people say they don’t feel appreciated at work.

Let’s be logical about this problem... possibly up to 65% of your company doesn’t feel appreciated. Each one of those underappreciateds could wreak havoc on the company in so many little ways. The solution? Just ask the managers to say thanks more often.

Wait a minute coach... that’s the worst game plan ever. It seems nice in theory, but that’s basically the game plan that’s leading to 65% of employees not feeling appreciated.

A radical idea

If making a product is a core competency of your company, you pay people to be able to make the product. If selling that product is a core competency of your company, you pay people to be able to sell it. If you want gratitude and appreciation to be a core competency of your company, you have to pay people to express gratitude.

You’re kidding right?

Pay people to be appreciative? You’re kidding right? No... we’re serious. It’s part of the new game plan that works so well, you’ll cut your numbers of underappreciateds dramatically. It’s not the money that is talking, it’s the money that gives you a tool to be able to legitimately remind people to say thanks. It’s the thanks that really matters and always will. That said, without a little pump-priming, the flow of regular and frequent appreciation doesn’t get going.

The system for ‘thank you’

Motivosity creates a platform whereby your employees can easily appreciate each other. Frequent appreciation is reinforced with a monthly use-it-or-lose it infusion of appreciation money that is funded by the company. The social nature of the platform helps those busy managers become more aware of the good things people are doing and helps them remember to be thankful as well.

The penny-wise and pound-foolish leader

Let’s be honest. Unless your organization is currently spending time and money to cause the team to be more appreciative of each other, your company leadership are penny-wise and pound-foolish.

A new perspective

No worries... you’re only the same as 90+% of all companies everywhere.

The first thing that needs to change is that you need to look at money spent on appreciation as an insurance policy toward your underappreciateds. This is so for two reasons:

Giving appreciation increases happiness

This article cannot go into the details of the magic of giving thanks, but understand that those who express gratitude:

  • are more productive
  • are more likely to help others
  • stay at their job longer
  • are more effective
  • are significantly happier

Bottom line: both giving and receiving appreciation results in more of the kind of thing you want in your workplace - happy, helpful, productive people. You could even argue that the biggest benefit to having an appreciation competency in your company goes to the givers.