Employee recognition more important than ever

The vital role of employee recognition in the workplace has been demonstrated by three pieces of research released last month.

The first, a survey conducted among 3,000 employees by Research Now on behalf of Capita Employee Benefits, found that being thanked or recognised for work is the second most popular employee benefit, after a pay rise.

Michael Rose, director at Rewards Consulting, said: “Because the economy is tight and pay increase levels are low, employers are thinking about what else they can do.”

Rose said that although recognition has always been important, the current re-emphasis on recognition is the “silver lining to the economic cloud”.

But he warned that recognition is not a “nil sum game”.

“Recognition can be enduring, but it is not a replacement for reward,” he said.

A second survey, out of the US, motivation firm Globoforce’s Workforce mood tracker summer 2013 report, found that 94% of employees like to be recognised for their work. The survey, of 708 full-time employees, found that 59% said recognition significantly affects their productivity, 49% said it affects relationships and 43% said it impacts on their customer service.

Rose added: “Recognition can be a very significant factor in engagement. Engagement can help retain people in a way money cannot do.”

The third survey showed that overlooking the power of recognition can have a major negative impact on staff. The 2013 NHS Employee survey, conducted by The Voucher Shop among 2,185 NHS staff across the UK, found that 70% of staff were feeling “unappreciated” or given “not enough praise” for their work.

“Ultimately, if people are not recognised, they will leave and find places where they will be more fulfilled,” said Rose. “People have even taken pay cuts of up to 50% to achieve this.”