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How Does Recognition Impact Employee Engagement

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

impact employee engagement

Recognising the efforts of your team can often seem like a secondary consideration, especially when you're busy navigating the day-to-day realities of running a business.

However, as we'll explore in this blog post proudly brought to you by HR Coach, it's an aspect that shouldn't be overlooked. Regular recognition can significantly impact employee engagement, fostering a motivated, productive, and committed workforce.

Let's delve into how and why acknowledging your employees' hard work can make a world of difference in your organisation's overall performance.

The Importance of Recognition in the Workplace

A successful employee recognition program is not just an added perk, it's a vital tool for fostering a productive work environment. It extends beyond simple accolades of 'great job' or 'well done.' Recognition serves as a testament to an individual's valuable input to the team and endorses their hard work and achievements.

Employee appreciation shouldn't be sporadic but consistent, creating a sense of ownership and pride that empowers them to bring their best to each project. As a study by Harvard Business Review underscores, consistent appreciation is as necessary as earned recognition.

So, if you're aiming to motivate employees and nurture a high-performing team, a successful employee recognition program should be your top priority.

The Link between Recognition and Employee Engagement

Employee engagement and recognition go hand in hand. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be engaged in their work. As Forbes notes, recognition isn't a seasonal activity but a crucial year-round element of a positive company culture.

The moment that employees receive positive feedback for their contributions, they develop a deeper sense of ownership, which directly fuels their engagement levels. According to research from the University of Oxford, engaged and happy employees can boost productivity by an impressive 13%.

Professor De Neve further emphasises that happier employees don't just work harder – they work smarter, making more efficient calls per hour and achieving higher sales conversion rates.

Benefits of Recognition on Employee Engagement

Now that we've established the link between recognition and employee engagement, let's dive into how it benefits your organisation.

1. Boosts Employee Morale

Regular recognition can significantly boost employee morale. When employees realise that their work is valued, their satisfaction and productivity levels increase, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. For instance, a survey by SHRM-Globoforce found that 85% of companies that spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition see a positive impact on engagement.

2. Enhances Productivity

Recognition not only makes employees feel valued, but it can also lead to increased productivity. Recognising employees for their hard work shows that the company values their contribution, which can motivate them to work harder.

According to a report by Psychometrics, when questioned about what actions leaders could take to improve engagement, a significant 58% of respondents suggested 'give recognition.' So, if you're looking to boost employee retention and keep your employees engaged, implementing robust employee appreciation programs is a proven strategy.

3. Reduces Employee Turnover

Recognition can also have a significant impact on employee turnover. Employees who don't feel valued are more likely to look for new opportunities. On the contrary, employees who are regularly recognised for their contributions feel valued and appreciated, making them more likely to stay with the company. One research on Forbes shows that recognition-rich cultures have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.

4. Encourages Loyalty

Employees who feel recognised and appreciated are more loyal to their companies. When employees perceive that their hard work and contributions are appreciated, they tend to develop a sense of loyalty towards their organisation and become highly motivated to contribute to its success.

According to a report by Gallup, employees who don't feel adequately appreciated are twice as likely to consider leaving their job within the next year. Recognising and valuing employees' contributions can make a significant impact on their job satisfaction and loyalty.

5. Encourages Teamwork

Employee recognition plays a substantial role in promoting a culture of collaboration. Rewarding employees for their collective efforts fosters an environment where teamwork is not just appreciated but celebrated. According to a survey, it was found that 69% of employees would be more motivated to put in extra effort if they believed their contributions were more adequately recognised.

How to Implement Effective Recognition Strategies

With all the benefits of recognition on employee engagement, how can you implement effective strategies in your organisation?

1. Make Recognition a Routine

Integrating recognition into your daily routine is a strategic move that can significantly boost employee performance. This could be as straightforward as acknowledging individual efforts during team meetings or expressing appreciation during one-on-one sessions.

The secret lies in consistency. Implementing a strategic recognition program where you regularly recognise your employees' contributions can have a profound impact on their morale and productivity. They will truly value your consistent acknowledgement of their hard work.

2. Tailor Recognition to the Individual

Not everybody enjoys being recognised in the same way. Some employees might appreciate public praise, while others prefer a quiet word in private. Ask your employees how they prefer to be recognised to ensure your efforts are positively received.

3. Leverage Digital Platforms

Utilise digital platforms to offer recognition. This can range from an internal communication tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams where you publicly acknowledge an employee's efforts, to an employee recognition platform that allows for peer-to-peer recognition.

4. Implement a Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programme

Creating a peer-to-peer recognition programme can foster a culture of appreciation within your team. Encourage employees to recognise and appreciate each other's efforts, which can boost morale and strengthen team dynamics.

5. Align Recognition with Company Values

Tie recognition to your company values to reinforce the behaviours you want to encourage. For example, if one of your values is innovation, regularly recognise those who offer fresh and creative ideas.

6. Provide Tangible Rewards

While verbal recognition is crucial, tangible rewards can also be motivating. These could range from gift cards and extra days off, to tickets for events or experiences. Remember, the reward doesn't necessarily have to be expensive—it's the thought that counts.

7. Encourage Continuous Learning

Recognise employees who take the initiative to learn and develop their skills. This could be through attending a course, gaining a new certification, or even teaching a new skill to their teammates. By doing this, you're fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.

The Role Recognition Plays in Remote Work

The shift to remote work due to the global circumstances has posed unique challenges for maintaining employee engagement. In such an environment, recognition plays an even more critical role. When employees are working remotely, the lack of face-to-face interaction can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection. Implementing effective recognition strategies can help bridge this gap.

The Importance of Recognition for Remote Workers

Recognition is key in reminding remote workers that they are integral members of the team and their contributions matter, even if they are not physically present in the office. A well-timed acknowledgement can boost their morale and productivity, promote a sense of belonging, and foster a better connection to the team and the company as a whole.

Strategies for Recognising Remote Workers

There are several strategies you can use to recognise remote workers effectively. Regular virtual meetings provide an opportunity to acknowledge their achievements in front of the entire team. Digital tools can also be leveraged to recognise and reward efforts in real-time.

For instance, sending a personalised email or giving a shout-out on a group chat can be a great way to appreciate an employee's hard work. Additionally, implementing a virtual reward system where peers can recognise and reward each other can foster a strong sense of community within a remote team.

Ready to Take Employee Engagement to the Next Level?

At HR Coach, we understand the importance of employee engagement and recognition. That's why we've been using Staff Engagement Survey Software from STAR Workplace, designed to measure and improve your team's dedication, motivation, and engagement levels.

Let's have a chat. We invite you to contact us at HR Coach. Our experts are ready to guide you on your journey to building a more engaged, productive, and successful team.

Make your move towards a stronger workplace culture today!

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