5 Reasons Employee Recognition Programs Pay For Themselves
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Whether it’s a “thank you” from our spouse for cleaning the garage, or from our supervisor for putting in some extra hours, we all want to know that what we do matters, and is noticed by others. This isn’t just a feeling—it’s part of Maslow’s heirachy of important human needs. After we achieve our basic physiological needs for food, water, etc. and our need for safety, love and belonging, our self-esteem becomes paramount. That’s where awards and recognition comes in.
About 75 percent of businesses have some sort of recognition program in place, although some are more developed than others. Award programs are important to all employees, but perhaps even more so for the “millennials”, or those entering the workforce after the year 2000. This demographic values working for a purpose, not a paycheck, so giving them raises may not keep them satisfied. They have other motivating factors for working well, and one that they share with the older members of the workforce is praise and recognition from their managers.
Having an employee recognition program in place does more for your business than just identify a job well done. There are many deep-seated reasons an employee recognition program is valuable to businesses today. Here are the top five:
1. Employees Appreciate Recognition Programs
While many companies award their top people with cash incentives and bonuses, studies have shown that praise from higher up is even more valued. A study from Towers Watson found that recognition from managers and supervisors can “turbocharge” employee engagement. Also, 60 percent of employees reported higher engagement with their organization as a result of recognition from their managers.
2. Recognition Programs Provide a Morale Boost for the Company
When employees notice that management is cognizant of good work, it has a positive effect on the workplace culture. A 2012 survey by Globoforce found that organizations with strategic recognition programs in place exhibit 28.6 percent lower frustration levels than companies without.
3. Recognition Programs can Increase Productivity
If recognizing an employee makes them happier, they are more likely to work harder and enjoy their jobs in the process. Putting a recognition program in place can increase an
employee’s happiness on the job and help fill their need for self-esteem and recognition. One recent study claimed that 60 percent of best-in-class companies agreed that employee recognition programs were “extremely valuable” in driving individual performance.
4. Employee Recognition Programs Can Increase Retention
Employees that feel appreciated are more likely to stay put. Studies show that one of the main reasons Americans leave their jobs is because they feel they are not appreciated. Employees need to regularly be reminded that their work matters, and bestowing a special recognition is an even stronger, more dramatic way to do it. In some cases, it may also make the difference in hiring the right person in a marketplace where there is competition for the best talent. People like to work places where they know their efforts will be appreciated.
5. Recognition Programs Provide a Success Metric for Everyone at the Organization
When a company recognizes an employee, it communicates a message to the organization that this is the type of employee that the organization considers a success. The award provides a benchmark of excellence for other employees to achieve. It also provides a goal for the employee to aspire to and may motivate them to emulate the performance of their recently recognized peer. From the manager’s perspective, the award program also provides a metric to compare performance and even track staff progress.
If you have an employee recognition program in place, be assured that you are reaping intangible rewards like increased employee productivity, loyalty and employee satisfaction. If you don’t have one yet, consider the benefits that can result from a small show of “thank you” to those in your organization who need to hear it most!
By Jeanne Brommer, MAS
Co-Owner B. Gunther & Company, Inc.
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