“What gets rec­og­nized gets rein­forced, and what gets rein­forced gets repeated.”

-Unknown

In today’s ultra-com­pet­i­tive work envi­ron­ment, the com­pa­nies with the win­ning edge are the ones that have the best-trained and well-skilled staff. How­ev­er, even the best employ­ees can­not per­form well (or may even jump ship) when they are not moti­vat­ed enough. Praise and recog­ni­tion pro­vide the kind of pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence that can increase employ­ees’ morale, moti­va­tion and engage­ment, and renew their com­mit­ment to their orga­ni­za­tion.  This is why employ­ee praise and recog­ni­tion in the work­place has to be an innate part of any company’s culture.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employ­ee recog­ni­tion is the acknowl­edg­ment of a company’s staff for exem­plary per­for­mance. It is the time­ly infor­mal or for­mal acknowl­edge­ment of a per­son­’s behav­ior, effort, or busi­ness result that sup­ports the orga­ni­za­tion’s goals and val­ues and exceeds nor­mal expectations.

Why Employee Recognition Matters

One of the biggest moti­va­tors for employ­ees is to be held in high esteem by their peers. The best way of earn­ing this respect is to be acknowl­edged for being good at what they do.

An increas­ing num­ber of busi­ness­es are becom­ing pro­po­nents of mutu­al recog­ni­tion, claim­ing that ask­ing col­leagues to praise each oth­er helps to cre­ate a gen­uine atmos­phere of pos­i­tiv­i­ty and fuels a sense of belong­ing and pur­pose.  Employ­ees thrive off acknowl­edge­ment and praise. Espe­cial­ly in the age of hybrid and remote work, it is not uncom­mon to expe­ri­ence feel­ings of iso­la­tion, so know­ing that your co-work­ers appre­ci­ate you and val­ue your input can help to effec­tive­ly com­bat this.

But don’t just take our word for it – there’s plen­ty of data to back up the val­ue of employ­ee recog­ni­tion programs.

One of the ben­e­fits of recog­ni­tion and praise is that it helps cre­ate employ­ee engage­ment. Work­ers won’t be engaged if they feel like nobody cares. A man­ag­er who prais­es is one who’s pay­ing atten­tion to the work and the work­er. That per­son­al­ized atten­tion is cru­cial for the cre­ation of an emo­tion­al bond between employ­ees and the orga­ni­za­tion. And the strength of that bond, in turn, is behind high­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, low­er turnover, few­er mis­takes and acci­dents, and ulti­mate­ly, high­er profits.

Anoth­er ben­e­fit of employ­ee recog­ni­tion and praise in the work­place is that it can be the foun­da­tion of cul­ti­vat­ing a cul­ture of self-improve­ment. One of the best meth­ods for staff recog­ni­tion is to pro­vide them with oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn and make them­selves bet­ter at what they do. To take it a step fur­ther, it is also ide­al to incen­tivize learn­ing – reward those who have tak­en the time to focus on self-improvement.

There are count­less ways to put employ­ee recog­ni­tion in the work­place into action; how­ev­er, it all begins with com­pa­ny cul­ture. A win­ning employ­ee recog­ni­tion pro­gram starts with hav­ing a com­pa­ny cul­ture that advo­cates appre­ci­a­tion for top per­form­ers. This can be the foun­da­tion for sol­id staff engage­ment, con­tin­u­ous employ­ee devel­op­ment, and an inte­gral part of the company’s reten­tion strat­e­gy for the future.