By Barb Ward

In an environment still recovering from The Great Resignation, finding ways to engage employees and reinforce their dedication and commitment to the organization is paramount. Developing a sincere, authentic recognition program is a simple step in achieving this goal. 

Employee recognition really is that important. 

To understand the far-reaching benefits of workforce recognition, Workhuman and Gallup studied thousands of employees across the United States, U.K., and Ireland to understand what recognition means to them. This included things like whether they feel they are receiving it authentically, equitably, and frequently enough, and what effect good recognition has on their attitudes toward work and life. Here are some of their findings.

Employees who receive authentic, frequent recognition are:
  • 73% less likely to “always” or “very often” feel burned out
  • 56% less likely to be looking or watching for job opportunities
  • 44% more likely to be “thriving” in their life overall
  • 5x as likely to feel connected to their company’s culture
  • 4x more likely to be engaged in their work
  • 5x as likely to seek a path for growth at their organization
  • 4x as likely to recommend their organization to friends and family
Recognition programs can impact your bottom line:

If you’re still not sure employee recognition is a solid strategy for employee retention, let’s talk about the bottom-line impact on your organization. This study reveals that creating a culture of recognition can save a 10,000-employee company up to $16.1 million in annual turnover costs. So, it would seem like an obvious tactic. Yet nearly two in three leaders say their organization does not have a budget allocated to recognition, and 81% say recognition is not a major strategic priority for their organization.

What kind of recognition is most impactful? 

Workhuman and Gallup maintain while all recognition matters, from a simple thank you to company-wide awards, not all recognition is equal. In fact, their extensive research shows that five factors are more highly associated with the positive impact of recognition, it must be fulfilling, authentic, equitable, embedded in the culture, and personalized. 

Other research corroborates these findings. Feedback that feels authentic to employees is important and success depends not only on the recognition/gift/award but also on these factors:

  • Who Gives the Recognition: A handwritten note that is signed in ink by their direct manager and mailed to their house, or an in-person visit to the office to say thank you means more than a blanket email.
  • Make Sure the Timing is Right: While consistency and frequency are important, everyday feedback can get repetitive and feel forced rather than authentic. Instead opt for recognition at the end of a quarter, an important project, or special recognition for an unexpected achievement.
  • Is it Public or Private: While there are certainly times when private recognition of an achievement makes sense, don’t discount the secondary benefits of recognizing employees in a team setting. Public recognition serves two purposes, thanking the individual for going above and beyond, and motivating other team members to do the same. 
  • Pay Attention to Details: An inexpensive well-thought-out gift that is hand-wrapped and delivered personally may be appreciated far more impactful than a small monetary gift card. When you can see the effort put into a thoughtful thank you it just means more.
Need help getting started?

While it takes some effort to put together a successful employee recognition program, the rewards you reap from engaging your workforce, reducing turnover, and increasing your profitability will be worth it. If you need help getting started, let’s talk. Contact us for a no-obligation, free consultation by clicking this link: Innovative Connections or calling us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.