It’s not just common sense that recognizing our team members’ efforts can go a long way in keeping them engaged and making them feel appreciated for their efforts at work. And there is strong data to back up what we intuitively already know.

Why we need to pay attention

At a time when businesses are struggling to attract and retain the right talent, when the way we work has shifted from on-site to hybrid or remote, when we are called to do more with less and our employees are under additional pressure, recognition is one way to soften the impact of these challenges. Sound recognition practices have been shown to:

  • Impact our ability to retain talent (63% of appropriately recognized employees are highly unlikely to quit their jobs and teams ranking at the top 20% of engagement experience 59% fewer turnovers)
  • Reinforce the behaviors that matter to the business and, thus, better align strategy with execution (based on recent research, 92% of employees are more likely to repeat a specific action after receiving recognition for it)
  • Lead to increased employee engagement, productivity and performance by 14%, according to Deloitte’s Talent 2020 Survey.
  • Ultimately impact our company’s bottom line (research showing a 15% improvement in engagement can result in 2% increase in margins)

Despite the impact that employee recognition has to our team members and our business, 82% of employees surveyed agreed they wish they received more recognition at work, and another 30% of employees did not feel valued by their leaders.

As leaders we don’t intend to neglect our team members, but the current environment makes it more challenging than in years past. Because of the way we work and the pressures we are currently under, it takes more intentional effort on the part of leaders to be encouraging and supportive of their teams. Although employee recognition should be a continuous, year-round endeavor, as we are closing the end of another challenging year, we need to plan and take the time to recognize our team members for their hard work and contributions to our business.

What makes recognition effective

Best practices dictate that for employee recognition to be effective it needs to be timely, frequent, specific, visible, and based on our company’s values and objectives. In the current environment, it also needs to be tailored to what matters to each of our employees to maximize its effectiveness.

This is where, as leaders and managers, we need to tap into our understanding of our team members as individuals to determine not only the type of recognition that would be most meaningful to each of them but also the best way to deliver that recognition. For example, while your more extroverted team members may feel energized and motivated by being recognized in front of the whole team, your more reserved employees may cringe at that thought and try to avoid it at all costs. Similarly, recognizing employees for their individual efforts and contributions may be reinforcing for your competitive, highly driven team members whereas highlighting and recognizing the impact on team harmony, collaboration and teamwork may be the thing that speaks the most to the hearts of your strong collaborators and team-players. Beyond taking the time to get to know your employees, using a behavioral assessment tool, such as the Predictive Index, can give you quick, accurate and deep insights into what matters most to each of your team members.

By tailoring your approach to how you acknowledge your people for who they are and what they do, you are communicating that you truly know them on an individual level and you are committed to their continued success.

An employee engagement report by TINYpulse, reported that just a quarter of employees feel highly valued at work and only 1 in 3 employees feel they were properly recognized the last time they went the extra mile and did good work. If you want to shift these odds to your favor as you plan for wrapping up 2021, take the time to plan in a thoughtful and intentional way how you want to acknowledge your people for who they are and what they do for your business.

If you want to explore how you can effectively recognize your staff in a meaningful way, feel free to reach out and schedule a conversation with us.

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