We all need an encouraging pat on the back every so often.
Appreciation is a fundamental human need. In the workplace, employees respond to appreciation expressed via recognition because it confirms that their contributions are valued. As a result, their satisfaction, engagement and productivity soar.
Organizations that have a broad understanding of what it means to deliver outstanding performance, and which reward their employees publicly and consistently, are more likely to achieve and exceed their goals. As reported in a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study of employers who implemented comprehensive recognition programs:
- 35 percent saw an increase in customer satisfaction.
- 30 percent increased productivity.
- 29 percent had improved profits.
In another study, 80 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder when their boss showed appreciation for what they did. More than half said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciated.
Since your average employee spends 8.8 hours each day working – compared to just 2.6 hours on sports and leisure – it’s up to you to prioritize bringing fulfilment, satisfaction and happiness into the workplace. A robust recognition program is a great way to start.
Build a Recognition-Rich Culture
Recognition is one of the best ways to stimulate your employees to take needed actions and achieve results. It’s critical that you practice recognition on a regular basis, without exception. If it’s perceived as haphazard, insincere or inconsistent, it will backfire and could even become demoralizing.
On a positive note, companies that do well at recognition have a 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rate than those with ineffective programs.
The Harvard Business Review recently sponsored a study of 12,115 workers in both blue and white collar jobs. Researchers learned that employees are most engaged and productive when their core needs are met in four areas: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Even if you satisfy just one of the four, it can make a significant difference in overall performance.
- Communication is key. Everyone’s idea of happiness varies. Continually dialogue and survey employees so you can incorporate their wants and needs into your company culture.
- Recognize employees as individuals. The more you acknowledge specific contributions, the more irreplaceable a person will fill. Year round, show a genuine interest in your team members by getting to know their personal interests, hobbies, passions and motivators.
Encourage Peer-to-Peer Recognition
The people you work with have a major impact on your self-esteem and ability to succeed. Their opinions matter! Promote a positive environment by encouraging employees to support and build each other up.
- Share recognition stories. When someone does something great and it’s recognized by their peers, publicize it. Announce it at meetings and through company and social media. This creates an engagement and learning domino effect as word spreads.
- Reward quantifiable achievements. Employees value recognition programs that honor tangible accomplishments, versus abstract concepts such as “leadership”, “flexibility” or “success.” Tie rewards to measurable achievements that have a clear connection to business results. For instance, use company safety, waste and production targets as your barometer in a manufacturing setting.
Need more ideas for boosting recognition, engagement and employee satisfaction for a more productive workplace? Check out our Resource Center and contact Contemporary Personnel Staffing and Professionals Incorporated today at (315) 457-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.