August 04, 2017

The Importance of Employee Recognition

by Natalia Bubis

We’ve written on the subject of employee engagement numerous times on In Focus in the past. It’s an important subject and one of the biggest difference makers for any organization in any industry. According to Gallup’s widely-cited State of the American Workplace research, tracking trends over the past three decades, “companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.”

Boosting employee engagement often sounds difficult. There are plenty of high-level concepts and strategies that organizations can use—as we’ve written, focusing on company culture is a popular (and effective) one, among others.

But what about some tactical, tangible, everyday ways you can boost employee engagement?
Recent research has shown that simply recognizing your employees for their work is one of the most effective. Engage, a blog focused on employee engagement, takes note of an employee recognition program undertaken by Horizon Blue Shield Blue Cross of New Jersey that resulted in a 6 percent increase in overall engagement scores.

Additionally, the blog notes that employee recognition doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—take stuffy, traditional forms. More from Engage:

Gone are the days of the monolithic approach to recognition, in which employees were only recognized once a year during a performance review, with little news of their accomplishments reaching the greater organization or even worse, once every five or ten years with a “Years of Service” award. Replacing this approach with one focused on recognizing and rewarding people frequently with meaning and specificity has become critical in creating a true culture of employee recognition.

Employee recognition can be a low-cost, high-impact way to contribute to better engagement throughout your organization. Gallup agrees, noting that “only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.”

Gallup further points out a few easy ways to do it, including both public acknowledgment with an award or certificate, or private, direct recognition from a supervisor. It’s also important gestures of employee recognition aren’t hollow, but they don’t always have to be monetary. If an employee is doing a good job and positively impacting your business, he or she may be ready for a greater scope of work or bigger responsibilities.

At the end of the day, the ways you recognize your employees should fit the culture and values of your organization. What are some of the ways you have recognized employees? Which have been the most effective?

Let me know at

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Posted: August 04, 2017 by Natalia Bubis Filed under: employee, engagement, HR