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The Psychological Impact of Recognition in the Workplace

Luke Kreitner
6/25/24 1:05 PM

Whether you are in the workplace or not, people like to feel appreciated and valued, and an employee recognition is an essential component to building a positive team environment. Having a recognition program that is tailored to the needs of your employees will enhance not only their belonging and self-worth but also their productivity and retention. Take the time to get to know your employees, and work to create a recognition program that will resonate and foster a positive, healthy workplace. In this blog, we will take a deeper look into the impact of employee recognition and the psychological effects it can have on your employees. 


How does Recognition and Psychology work together?

  • Increases Self-Esteem
    Recognition can easily go hand in hand with an employee’s self-esteem. When employees are acknowledged for their work, they begin to feel more confident and validated in their skills and abilities. Acknowledged employees are more likely to pursue professional development and growth, which boosts their self-esteem as they achieve new milestones and take on more responsibilities. This will lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation to create their best work. 

  • Reduces Stress
    Work can easily become a main source of stress in someone’s life, and that can quickly affect their overall mental well-being. Recognition can help reduce that stress because you are letting your employees know that they are doing a good job, which can counteract the feelings of burnout and stress, making daily tasks less overwhelming. Recognized employees also feel a greater sense of control over their work and career paths. This sense of control can alleviate stress by providing employees with clearer directions and goals in their roles. 

  • Builds Stronger Bonds of Trust
    When recognition is both given and received, oxytocin is released which fosters deeper relationships and strengthens trust levels. This positive cycle will enhance workplace connections but also cultivate a supportive and collaborative work environment. As trust grows, so does mutual respect, which leads to an increase in productivity and overall job satisfaction. 

Recognition is a catalyst for building stronger relationships, fostering trust and creating a more cohesive and collaborative workplace. There should be more thought put into it than just a pat on the back or high five in the break room (which now may be virtual!). Your employee recognition program is a powerful tool that can significantly affect employee morale, productivity and overall employee well-being. For managers and executives, understanding the psychological impact of employee recognition can help create a more engaged and motivated workplace.

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