Making employees jump for you!

21st October 2022

Teresa Jones

Teresa’s top tips for recognition

Data from O.C. Tanner Institute’s 2021 Global Culture Survey, found that recognition, when done well, can lead to two times higher revenue, four times more engaged employees and 43% of employees are less likely to suffer burnout.  

And, recognition isn’t costly to implement. The average budget for employee recognition is 1-2% of payroll, and it may “pay for itself ten times over” (Business 2 Community, November 2019).  

So, there is a strong business case for recognition but how do you get it right?  

  1. Linking recognition to your company’s purpose, mission and values allow you to appreciate colleagues at the same time as using it as a strategic business tool. A 2018 study by School for Human Resource Management found that companies with a values-based recognition approach are two times more likely to reinforce and drive business results.  
  2. Design an approach that is right for your company – seek colleague feedback at the start and involve them throughout the process. Understanding what is meaningful to them will give you the best chance of success.  
  3. Approaches that are open for everyone to give and receive recognition are often the most successful as it becomes part of day-to-day work. It doesn’t have to be expensive and can be done with e-cards or a simple email. “Positive impacts of recognition are multiplied, with more eyes, ears and hearts looking for and capturing recognition moments” (Debra Corey, Appreciate It, 2022). 
  4. Have multiple ways to be a ‘winner’. Celebrating only the best of the best is likely to have the opposite effect.  
  5. Recognising in a meaningful genuine way gives a positive feeling of appreciation to the individual that can stay with them long afterwards. Think about the individual to ensure that recognition is meaningful every time and avoid unintended consequences. A joint thank you note is unlikely to be as impactful as something personal explaining exactly what was special about what an individual did.  
  6. Don’t just recognise big wins; all the small steps to get there are just as important in terms of encouraging employees to keep going, and appreciating their efforts along the way. It “multiplies the power of recognition” (Debra Corey, 2022). The more recognition moments there are, the better for creating a culture of recognition and its business benefits.  
  7. Celebrating recognition moments in a public way has a bigger impact, with others having the opportunity to cheer their colleagues on or share messages of congratulations. It demonstrates what good work looks like, encourages more of it and further recognition moments will follow. But be aware that some may prefer a more subtle approach.  
  8. Ensure that recognition is inclusive. Make it personal; not everyone will appreciate the same gift or recognition given in the same way.  
  9. ‘In the moment’ recognition is most impactful. Delays can lead to negative feelings and may cause the recognition to be forgotten altogether. E-cards can support this approach as they are easy to use and are received instantly.  
  10. Measure the impact so that successes can be celebrated e.g., improvement in engagement levels. Make sure to regularly review and refresh your approach to keep colleagues interested.   

And remember, recognition is one of the few reward levers that feels as good to the giver as the person receiving it. 

Image courtesy of John Grainger.

How we can help

If you’d like help designing your approach to recognition, please do get in touch for an initial conversation.

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