Creating a Culture of Recognition

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It's common to believe that employee recognition is universal.

However the truth is that what one person perceives as acknowledgment may be worthless to another. Additionally an employee recognition gap can damage your company's growth because today's workforce lists recognition as one of the top motivators in their job happiness.

Picture this: You just accomplished a fantastic milestone at work! 

How would you like to be recognized?

A mention at the upcoming all-hands meeting for your company? 

Is a bonus okay?

A social gathering with your team?

Now ask your closest teammates how they would wish to be recognized. 

Did you come up with the same? 

Chances are you did not

Employee recognition which is fundamentally critical to an organization's bottom line is the open acknowledgment and stated appreciation for employees' contributions to their firm. 

Recognition-rich cultures have boosted productivity decreased turnover and improved engagement. Yet although most businesses have some kind of recognition program underappreciation is still a significant issue. Why?

Why the vast mismatch when the majority of businesses provide some kind of employee incentives?

What is the employee recognition gap?

The employee recognition gap happens when supervisors are unaware of what drives team members individually and collectively. It frequently results in the following:

  • Unengaged employees
  • A decline in productivity
  • High attrition rates
  • Low spirits

People want to feel like they belong at work and that their efforts are having an impact. Feeling valued for their work makes them far more engaged and productive.

How can you tell if an employee recognition gap is hurting your company? By noting how well your staff members are contributing and working.

Here are some warning indications that your staff members may feel underappreciated.

Lack of passion

They may come across as disengaged and uninterested in their task.

Social withdrawal

They avoid group tasks or activities and have brief interactions.

Work missed

They arrive late and depart early.

Unhappiness

Their typical demeanor is one of fatigue boredom and unhappiness.

Reduced productivity

Both the amount and quality of their work have clearly declined. They need more initiative to improve to pass up opportunities for training and development.

An employee recognition gap may have far-reaching effects on your company.

Why is employee recognition important?

Consider the last time you gave a project or presentation your all crafted it into something you were proud of and executed it flawlessly. When others notice that sense of success is uplifted and amplified immensely.

The straightforward act of acknowledging accomplishment significantly improves employee morale and productivity. Employee recognition is crucial because of this.

When workers receive recognition for their accomplishments they experience a sense of pride and ownership and are motivated to put in just as much effort on the next project. 

They feel more like a part of the organization perform better and are more likely to stick around if they receive recognition.

You'll be closer to realizing employees' full potential if you routinely give them genuine well-deserved praise. 

How do you bridge the gap?

There is a gap between how people want to be recognized and how they are recognized.

An employee recognition gap may have far-reaching effects on your company. So let's look at ways to prevent it.

Make sure it is meaningful to the recipient

Making a recognition program personal is essential to its success. While you may think you're providing excellent incentives for your workers you need to have a firm grasp on what motivates them or you could fall short.

For some workers the best reward for a job well done is leaving work a couple of hours early to attend their child's baseball game. Others might find it as a desk trophy or a short note of appreciation.

Asking your staff what they value most is a fantastic method to learn this. For example ask them how they prefer to receive feedback and if they have any suggestions for improving employee incentives during team meetings or one-on-ones.

Another choice is sending a quick "getting to know you" survey that may be completed and saved for later use. Finally you can find possible gaps by asking your staff how they feel about your present employee recognition culture.

Being proactive and finding out your employees' values can help you prevent the unfavorable effects of an employee recognition gap.

Give genuine recognition

Employees who believe in their supervisors are more proud of their workplace which shows in their work caliber.

As a result it is crucial that the praise you offer is genuine and not merely a box to be checked. The trust will be destroyed if your compliments come out as forced or insincere.

Encourage them to recognize and acknowledge their peers

Manager appreciation is crucial but there are other forms of praise that count. Recognition between peers holds a lot of weight. An elevated sense of pride results from receiving affirmation from coworkers for a job well done.

You may promote a happy workplace and inspire teams to work effectively by giving your employees a way to express their appreciation for one another.

Your peer-to-peer recognition plan should complement your management team's praise and be consistent with your corporate values.

Establishing a peer-to-peer recognition program has many advantages one of which is that it makes acknowledgment available to everyone not only those who occupy prominent positions. 

This gives workers another avenue for acknowledgment and can prevent a recognition gap in your company.

Don’t let it lose its meaning by overdoing the recognition

Getting too much of a good thing can dilute its impact and make it lose meaning just as getting too little attention might harm your business' success.

Making sure you express the requirements for recognition properly is one way to control things.

You may prevent these occurrences by being explicit about your expectations for how the work is to be done.

To summarize

How much time and effort are lost by the existing workplace recognition and appreciation practices even when they have the best of intentions?

It's significant to remember that everyone has a unique perspective on appreciation. As peers and leaders we should be aware of our preferences without discounting those of others. Do your best to offer personalized specialized recognition.

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Tricia Tan

Tricia Tan