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Building a Culture of Employee Recognition

Rachel Reed
10/5/17 10:18 AM

Recognition boosts employee engagement. Employee engagement drives productivity, increases revenue, reduces absenteeism, and lowers turnover. While building an established employee recognition program bolstered by company values can be the most effective way to boost employee engagement, simply incorporating recognition can make a significant difference. Simply encouraging employees, executives, and managers alike to express gratitude for jobs well done on a personal and frequent basis can lead to a culture shift.

Many leading companies are adapting structure to allow for flexibility between employees with different sets of skills in order to collaborate and complete projects. Employers are providing employees with the tools and time required to quickly move between teams and tasks, eliminating hierarchical, compartmentalized thinking altogether.

Organizations have also embraced new employee demands by incorporating learning, coaching, and development with culture. In fact, 83% of respondents to a 2017 Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey say their organization is shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences.

The incorporation of coaching and development, employee recognition, and shifting business models are just a few tactics used to address the overall employee experience expected by professionals.

The top reasons people stay in organizations are working with people they like and opportunities for growth. In fact, the same study found employees are more motivated by a fun work environment than other factors like job title, cash rewards, and gifts.

Linking Employee Recognition and Gratitude

One study found that grateful people are more extroverted, agreeable, open, conscientious, and less neurotic.

Recognition topped the list of HBR’s Most Impactful Employee Engagement Drivers in its Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance report at 72% most impactful driver. Gratitude is a powerful tool, and is oftentimes more valuable than things like cash.  One study found that 83% of people said receiving recognition was more fulfilling than monetary rewards.

Employee engagement cannot be boosted by building a quick-fix recognition program or sending out an annual survey. What can boost employee engagement is a thoughtful look into company values, mission, and culture and the construction of a recognition program based on them. It’s an inclusive adjustment of employee relations that is considered across all functions, positions, and departments within a company. Increased communication and praise for a job well done on a frequent, informal, individual basis will not only boost morale, but also provide insight into what employees respond positively to.


What is Employee Engagement?

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