Organisational culture is defined as the values, visions, language, behaviours and beliefs that make up a company’s working environment. And the foundation of a strong company culture is employee recognition.
Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more engaged, satisfied, loyal, and deliver better work. In a word, they’re happy. Studies show that happiness makes people 12% more productive, while unhappy workers are 10% less productive.
Happy employees are also less likely to leave. Research shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organisation with happy employees and high company culture is 13.9%, compared to 48.4% at a company with low company culture.
And then there are the positive bottom line impacts. A study by Tower Perrins found that companies with high levels of employee engagement reported 19% increase in operating income and a 28% increase in earnings growth.
Research from O.C. Tanner suggests that as traditional leadership is being replaced, modern leaders are using mentoring, connection and employee recognition to inspire 86% more great work.
What is employee recognition?
Employee recognition is the act of publicly acknowledging your employees for who they are and what they do. It’s all about positive feedback, focusing on people’s strengths, acknowledging what they’re doing right, and expressing appreciation and gratitude for their contributions.
Recognition can take the form of a public shout-out to a team member who did well on a particular project, a brief thank you note to a staff member who put in extra effort, or a formal nomination through your company’s recognition and rewards program.
Managers set the tone for recognition and by their actions, encourage peer to peer recognition. As a daily practice, recognition supports strong, productive teams and creates an inclusive and human workplace.
Why employee recognition matters.
There is evidence that the more gratitude in a company, the better it performs. It’s simple: receiving recognition is an essential human need. People need to feel that their contributions are valued and appreciated. And when they feel appreciated, they’re motivated to repeat the positive behaviours.
These are a few of the key business benefits of employee recognition:
- Retain top talent
- Increase employee engagement
- Encourage high performance
- Create a positive work environment
- Increase teamwork and collaboration, leading to better customer experiences
How does an employee recognition program work?
While creating an employee recognition program is a good start, great organisations continuously re-evaluate the ways they reward employees. As a company grows and changes, leaders need to rethink how they add value to the employee recognition experience.
For an employee recognition program to be successful (and meaningful), it needs to meet a few basic requirements:
- Specific and relevant. Recognition is more meaningful when tied to a specific accomplishment
- Frequent. Recognition that’s infrequent increases the possibility of employees feeling unappreciated
- Timely. The longer it takes to receive recognition, the less authentic it becomes. Give recognition in real-time
- Visible. Share stories of success in company meetings, newsletters, emails, social platforms, and other forms of public recognition
Employees need to be acknowledged for their contributions and recognising them when it matters can be the difference between a great company culture and a broken one.
Build culture and performance.
An employee recognition program is a critical part of your employee value proposition and should be a key driver in your rewards strategy. It will motivate your employees and improve their happiness while positively impacting your bottom line.