According to a study at the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity of employees, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.
Only companies that invest in employee support and satisfaction can garner the advantages of a happy workforce. And due recognition here plays a more important role than even compensation.
A sure shot way of improving your employee experience is by giving priority to employee recognition. And this does not necessarily need to be a huge burden or require a lot of investment. Even a small “thank you” or good treatment extended to your employees can help promote a positive, productive and engaged organizational climate.
50% of employees believe being thanked by managers not only improved their relationship, but also built trust with their higher-ups.
The benefits of employee recognition are many which is why it needs to be made a year long activity, such that it gets ingrained into company culture. All this cannot be achieved in a day and needs time to develop. It is also challenging for companies as most of their recognition efforts turn into employee dissatisfaction, jealousy and politics. In addition to this, employers also do not know what are the key essentials of a good recognition program.
So here is a guideline to ensure an effective employee recognition for your organisation that can help you to improve employee productivity.
Set your objectives clearly
The reason why most organizations fail with their recognition efforts is because their approach is too scattered. When it comes to recognition, a one size fits all approach might not work. Putting too much recognition out there without the right frequency or putting too little of it can make it a downer for employees. This needs to be prevented by setting smaller and realistic goals for employee recognition. The objectives of each of these recognition programs need to be set clearly before hand so that the right behaviors and actions are rewarded. For example, if the goal of the recognition program is to increase employee attendance, the employee with the perfect attendance in the last month or so needs to be appreciated and rewarded for the same in front of the entire staff.
The biggest mistake an employer could commit is to reward employees who do not deserve recognition. Rewarding the wrong employees can make the good ones lose faith in the company and its functioning. Giving due recognition to employees who do are far behind the loyal ones, but demand for it in an obvious kind of way are the most damaging to a company. For example, giving a raise to an employee who out rightly demands it rather than giving it to someone who is a brilliant performer but is not comfortable asking for a raise directly. Such practices can have a devastating effect on employee morale and happiness, making the best ones leave. Be fair in your approach as only then will you save the high performers from getting demotivated. Everyone who does the same amount or kind of work needs to have an equal likelihood of getting recognized for their efforts.
One of the most powerful forms of recognition is through feedback. Telling an employee why exactly he or she has been rewarded is not enough, giving the details of it is crucial. For example, if someone in sales has been able to consistently outperform everyone else and reach targets, they not only need to be appreciated in front of the entire team, but their numbers and efforts need to be discussed at length. This also has to be followed by the dynamic employee sharing a thing or two about the practices that helped achieve such success.
“You did a good job” is surely positive, but if it is replaced by tangible rewards such as – “Because of your efforts, we have achieved 20% higher revenue this quarter!” Make sure you do this on a timely manner, which would require you to keep a good track of how everyone in your team is doing. Keeping a written record of employee achievements, big and small, can help managers keep better track of their employee’s actions.
Quality feedback is important for any organization as it helps improve worker engagement as well as increase productivity. According to a study by PwC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or a weekly basis.
While employee recognition needs to be positive and constructive, it cannot be fake. Your employees are not stupid. They know when something is genuine and when it’s not. If they figure out the effort is fake, they will lose faith in the entire system. It will not only diminish the value of what you say, but also the way the entire organization views recognition. This is why employers need to be honest, kind and sincere. Make sure you give examples to substantiate your points so that there is a tangible background to what you are saying.
It’s time to make rewards and recognition a vital part of organizational culture. A separate internal process needs to be set up for this so that it keeps evolving with time. After all, companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover.