Employee recognition in the workplace – and why it’s vital

Employee recognition regularly crops up on lists featuring tips on how to ensure your employees are engaged, with Entrepreneur.com suggesting it should be fourth in terms of your priorities as a CEO. On top of that, Deloitte states that ‘employee engagement, productivity and performance are 14% higher than in organisations without employee recognition and rewards.

Yet while it’s clear that recognition and rewards makes a huge difference to companies, many bosses are failing.

But give out a little praise every now and then – and it’s likely your employees will work harder and stick around for longer. In fact, a recent National Employee survey from EachPerson, suggested that over 90 percent of employees feel recognition is important.

Incentives are Everything
Employees love incentives: incentives to work harder, incentives to stay later and longer, and incentives to reach their personal goals quicker – so how can you help them do that?

It basically comes back to going beyond the basic needs of your staff. Implementing recognition and rewards into your core company values, will significantly elevate productivity. According to The Theory of Human Motivation, which was published by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, all human beings have the innate desire to be all that they can be. The theory is referred to as self-actualisation it’s seen as the holy grail for employers. After all, who wouldn’t want to employ staff who consistently work to achieve their best?

Maslow believed that more basic needs have to be met, in order to unlock this desire in people – with the option to work their way up through a hierarchy highlighted as a key incentive for any workforce. While people are different in terms of what they need, a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

In order for your staff to work harder for you, then, you need to be in tune with their basic needs – and ensure your company and its principles evolve as they do. Happiness, in the workplace, breeds productivity and quality which will see your company and revenue bloom with opportunity. This can all be done with a simple recognition and rewards scheme.

So, what can you do to reward your employees?
Here are just a few examples of how you can change the mindset – and boost the motivation levels – of your staff:

Take Steps to Understand Your Employees’ Lives Outside of Work
A shift in mindset when it comes to employee reward and recognition is needed, as is better understanding of an employee’s life outside work, in that it is now just as important as their life within it.

Employees today expect much more, in terms of emotional intelligence (EI), from the company they work for, but this has yet to translate into the DNA of employers.

Emotional Quotient actually came in at number six in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills employees need to thrive – and it simply means someone’s ability to understand, perceive and, more importantly, manage their own emotions.

People thrive when technology enables greater efficiency, so put some time and money into basic technology; it could well equate to a spike in motivation – which will benefit you longer-term.

Praise Employees Individually
A one size fits all approach just doesn’t work, which means it falls on employers to understand the individuality and unique needs of each employee. Many organisations have already addressed the importance of a good work/life balance, progression opportunities and flexible working.

Ensure Recognition is Authentic
Make sure regular recognition forms part of your company’s culture – and implement praise in a timely fashion. Go beyond “well done” or “good job” and be specific when recognising employees, telling them exactly what they have done that’s earned your respect or appreciation.

Customise the recognition and rewards to suit an individual’s character
Establishing a unique rapport with an individual employee and not cookie-cutting rewards can go a long way. Adapting and personalising recognition and rewards to each character in an office adds elements or genuine care. Bottom line, they will want to push their work ethic harder for you as the employer.

What does recognition look like in your business?
Employees’ expectations are changing – and people expect a lot more of their employer and of his or her emotional intelligence and empathy.

It’s vital that you adopt a long-term view of employee engagement if you’d like to buck the trend in workforce happiness.

Ready to find out how you can make a start? Chat to our team about our employee reward and recognition scheme today.