Employee recognition does pretty much what it says on the packet: it’s about recognizing the hard work that your staff has done, and rewarding them for it.
It sounds simple, but it’s actually a lot more complex than you may at first realize. It’s done in many ways and for many different reasons. This article will break all this down for you, and explain why employee recognition is so important to your business.
What Is the Purpose of Employee Recognition?
Employee recognition is carried out in order to meet three main objectives:
To Showcase Achievements
It feels great just to get a simple “thank you”, doesn’t it? That’s what showcasing achievements is all about.
It gives your employees the opportunity to admire each other’s work, as well as learn from it.
Take this example. Say you run a business VoIP service. You sell communication services to help companies stay connected, using a mixture of both traditional conference call methods and online tools.
Imagine a cloud architect of yours has recently done a particularly good job. They’ve met all their targets and even come up with some new ideas. Showcasing their achievements to the rest of the company by doing something as simple as publicly thanking them on the company’s social media can go a long way. Not only will it boost the morale of that individual employee, but it can also inspire the rest of the company to work harder.
This takes us to the next objective: motivation.
Showing employee recognition can increase motivation for all employees. To continue the original example, imagine that the same social media post is seen by employees in other departments. Seeing another member of staff being publicly praised and thanked can inspire someone to work harder in the hopes that they will also enjoy that reward.
This of course applies to other types of recognition and reward as well. Employees that see other people being rewarded, even in non-corporate public sectors like restaurants or pubs, are much more likely to increase their engagement and productivity as a result. It’s a rule that applies across the board.
To Reinforce Company Values
This is an important one. Recognizing employees’ efforts can reinforce the values that your business holds. For example, if you’re rewarding a cloud engineer and recognizing their work, praise their innovative outlook and their problem-solving skills.
If you run a newsletter builder software, you could award recognition to an employee that has shown exceptional time management and written communication skills.
It’s all about realizing what your values as a company are and bolstering them by rewarding employees that demonstrate them.
Types of Employee Recognition
Now we arrive at the nitty-gritty. What are the types of employee recognition and when should you use them?
- Peer recognition
- Superior recognition
- Attributed recognition
- Anonymous recognition
- Social recognition
- Private recognition
- Behavior recognition
- Achievement recognition
All of these kinds of recognition are fairly self-explanatory - but the real trick is knowing when to use each one.
Say, for example, that you run an appointment booking app. One of your employees has reached a sales target and deserves recognition for their efforts.
Achievement-based recognition is the way to go here because your employee has reached a productivity goal rather than exhibiting any exceptional behavior. However, in terms of whether the employee would prefer to be publicly awarded or privately thanked? That’s your call.
Every employee will have different preferences when it comes to recognition. Some desire the spotlight, while some can’t imagine anything worse. Would they prefer a meeting with a more senior manager or an anonymous thank-you card on their desk?
Ultimately, it’s all about deciding which method of recognition would suit that particular employee, taking their wants, needs, and comfort into account at all times. What would inspire them the most? What will motivate them and make them feel appreciated within your company?
These are all important questions to consider.
Why Is Employee Recognition Important?
Now we come to the final piece of the puzzle. Why is employee recognition so important? Doesn’t it seem like a bit of a hassle?
It may well seem like one, especially if you have lots of employees that each require their own method of recognition. What we’re trying to get across here is that it’s a completely worthy investment of your time and money.
Think about it this way. Morale is at an all-time low due to the pandemic. Colleagues can’t see each other except in online meetings, and it’s easy for workers to feel isolated and underappreciated when working from home.
If you make a habit of regularly recognizing and rewarding your staff’s achievements, the news will spread that your company has a great working environment, and you can expect to onboard new employees as a result.
Here are some proven benefits of habitual employee recognition:
- Stabilized workplace
You’d be surprised how many people leave due to lack of recognition; investing in this process can encourage your employees to stick around for longer.
- Decreased absenteeism
Recognition affirms to the employees that what they’re doing is useful and helpful to the company, which encourages longer workdays and less lateness and sick days.
- Increased productivity
Recognition increases general employee happiness and motivation, which naturally raises productivity.
- Improved sense of unity
Seeing other employees succeed encourages everyone to do the same, which fosters a sense of unity among the staff - it’s a team effort.
- Increased trust between employees and management
If management shows that they appreciate the effort that employees put in, it will show the staff that the higher-ups keep their promises and truly care about their workers.
- Improved customer experience
If employees are all working harder to gain recognition and rewards, customer service and the customer experience will naturally be more seamless and enjoyable. When everyone’s doing their best work, the clientele is the first to enjoy the benefits.
- Decreased employee stress levels
Employee recognition can do wonders for stress relief. Imagine working tirelessly day after day for nothing but a paycheck, without even so much as a “thank you” or a “good job!”. It follows, then, that regular recognition goes a long way in relieving employee stress and increasing their enjoyment of work.
If all this isn’t enough to convince you, try it and see the results for yourself. Bringing this much more human side to a technologically advancing working world reminds us all that businesses are, first and foremost, made of people, and people deserve to be recognized and rewarded.
Marjorie Hajim is the SEO Manager for EMEA at RingCentral, a leading cloud communications company that provides VoIP and an automatic call distributor system. She develops and executes strategies for short-term and long-term SEO growth. In her spare time, she loves reading books at coffee shops and playing with her dogs.