What Drives Employee Engagement? Part 3: Receiving Recognition

Posted by April

Aug 23, 2013 10:47:00 AM

Today, I want to talk about receiving recognition. This is very important because it shows the employee that someone cares about their work and appreciates their efforts in the company. Don’t you agree that it feels great when your supervisor or a colleague compliments your work or says a simple “great job” to you once you’ve completed a task? It’s nice to know that your efforts are being recognized.

According to a survey of workers, a mere ten percent of employees say “thank you” to a colleague each day (John Templeton Foundation).

That is less than impressive. From that information, I conclude that many employees don’t show appreciation for their colleagues. Who wants to go to a place five days a week where their efforts go unnoticed and their accomplishments are undervalued? I would say not many people.

With that in mind, let’s learn a few ways to keep employees interested in their work and passionate about the company’s mission through simply recognizing their efforts and appreciating their skills.

  1. Foster a positive work environment. You want employees to be happy in their position with the company and what better way to promote happiness than through a positive work environment? Constant negativity only brings people’s morale down and leaves employees feeling worthless.

“Instead of a negative spiral of constant criticism, fault finding, and blame…create a positive contagion of praise, appreciation and recognition of success, progress made, and desirable behaviors demonstrated”(www.recognizethisblog.com, August 7, 2013, “Creating a Contagion of Positivity in the Work Place”).

  1. Utilize the power of a simple “thank you.” Two short words can make a world of difference in an employee’s day. When a deadline is met or when an employee goes out of their way to complete a task, let them know that you appreciate their work and efforts by simply saying “thanks.” You can also show appreciation through other small gestures like saying “great job,” or “good work.” Either way, employees will notice these small sayings and will definitely feel valued and appreciated in the organization.

“Thank you’s cost little and go a long way to motivating team members.” (Kevin Kruse, New York Times best-selling author of Employee Engagement for Everyone)

  1. Recognize others’ efforts and they’ll be more likely to recognize yours. It is likely that if you are looking for some sort of recognition or appreciation at your company, other employees are too. So instead of waiting on someone to recognize your efforts, let a colleague know that you appreciate their work and see their talents. Not only will they begin to notice your work as well, but then that positive attitude carries on to be an encouraging system at your workplace, which is what will be discussed next time.

“Help each other note progress in the work, even if it’s a small win in the midst of an otherwise frustrating day, and be sure to recognize - even celebrate – your individual and collective progress!” (Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School Director of Research and co-author of The Progress Principle).

Recognition is most definitely a driver of employee engagement. Without recognizing those who put forth the effort everyday to make the company a success, then the organization is filled with negativity and unhappy workers. So create a positive environment at your workplace and take the time to recognize others’ efforts by saying “thank you” or “good work.” Employees will enjoy their job more and will be more excited about going to work.

Topics: Leadership, Employee Engagement, Employee Recruitment and Retention, Talent Management