EXCLUSIVE: Boost employee engagement through recognition

Employee Benefits Connect 2019: Recognition needs to be continuous, strategic and should be linked to an organisation’s values to boost employee engagement as effectively as possible, according to Debra Corey, author, speaker and adviser to Reward Gateway (pictured).

In her session titled ‘How to give employees what they really crave to be engaged’ at the eighth annual Employee Benefits Connect 2019, Corey compared recognition to chocolate, explaining that it releases three chemicals that make people feel good: dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

Showing appreciation to staff in different ways also makes them more productive, reduces turnover, decreases absenteeism and improves the working environment, and it does not have to focus on a single employee: “Recognition doesn’t just have to be about the individual. It can, and should, be about the team as well,” Corey explained.

During the session, which was part of the conference’s engagement stream, Corey also recommended that organisations use their recognition and reward budget wisely, make it meaningful, create balanced plans, get everyone involved, and put it under the spotlight.

For recognition to be strategic, she advised employers to tell the action, connect to a focus area and share the impact.

She added: “You can design the best programme in the world, but if your employees and managers aren’t using them right, they won’t work.”