The Importance of Employee Recognition in the Workplace

The Importance of Employee Recognition in the Workplace

Employee recognition in the workplace has to be a vital part of a company's culture. In today’s work environment, the companies with the most satisfied and engaged employees are the ones that have the best training programmes and well-skilled staff. However, even the best employees cannot perform well when they are not motivated enough. Most of an employees motivation comes from getting recognised by their leadership. This means that acknowledging the link between employee recognition and effective management is key when it comes to success. 

Let’s look at the statistics

A recent National Employee Research Survey stated that 72% of employees would work harder if they were appreciated by some form of comprehensive employee appreciation program. Over 90% of respondents said employee recognition is important to them. Despite this, 62% stated that they hardly ever or were never appreciated by their boss. Furthermore, 68% of employees were also not happy with their benefits package.

Employee recognition statistics
Employee recognition statistics


So, your goal to improve employee recognition in your company should be to reinforce particular behaviours, practices, or activities that result in better performance and positive business results, such as implementing rewards and recognition into your workplace. This will create a higher level of employee satisfaction.

At Oak, we understand that employees are at the heart of any business. Satisfied and engaged employees not only bring in positive energy to the workplace, but also increase the company’s profit and sales. 


Why does employee recognition matter?

As briefly discussed, one of the biggest motivators for employees is to be recognised for their hard work by their peers and leadership. While most businesses would relate employee rewards with bonuses or extravagant award events, employee appreciation doesn't have to be expensive. Employee rewards and recognition could be as simple as a complement, a ‘thank you’ email or even a friendly greeting at work.

Employees have the desire to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work in their role. However, it is not always easy to craft good employee recognition programs, but they are vital. That’s why it’s important to:

  • Retain top talent
  • Increase Employee Engagement
  • Encourage high performance
  • Retain the business success
  • Boost morale
  • Create a culture of self improvement

Why employee rewards and recognition matter

What defines an effective and successful employee recognition program?

Before you start implementing an employee recognition program, it’s important to understand what makes employee recognition effective and successful. Gallup’s data reveals that the most effective recognition is honest, authentic and personalized to how each employee wants to be recognised. 

In a recent Gallup workplace study, employees were also asked to recall who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition. The data revealed that the most memorable recognition comes most often from an employees manager (28%), followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24%).

The key to achieving positive results in any employee recognition program is having a consistent stream of positive interactions between leaders and employees, driving higher employee satisfaction. The program will draw on your entire organisation as one, unlocking potential and encouraging people to produce their best work.

Types of workplace rewards and employee recognition

To implement an effective employee recognition program, you need to identify the four types of recognition:

  1. Public Recognition
  2. Private Recognition
  3. Promotion
  4. Specific Awards


Our Top Tips!

  • Recognition programs should be all-inclusive. Everyone needs to be eligible for the rewards and appreciation, excluding specific employees or groups will negatively affect employee performance.
  • Don’t take too long to recognise someone for their hard work. Now is always the best time. This means that the employee can associate the recognition with the exact behaviours that resulted in getting appreciated.


The most effective ways to recognise employees

Leading on from the four types of recognition you should implement into your company recognition program, let’s go through some effective appreciation ideas that you could use, depending on your employees achievement.


Public Recognition Ideas

  • A simple gesture of gratitude - A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ can go a long way. You can even do this on your company intranet, by creating a post on a timeline to ensure the whole company recognises an employee’s good work.
  • Newsletter - Feature your employees success stories in your company newsletter.
  • Congratulatory message or email - As a manager, you could send a company-wide congratulatory email and praise a certain employee for their hard work. Alternatively, if your company uses an instant messaging feature on your intranet, you could write a short ‘well done’ message in a specific team group chat.
  • Shout out on social media - Why not post a photo of your employees on social media and brag about their achievements.


Private Recognition Ideas

  • Arrange a thank you meeting - Specifically arrange a meeting with an employee just to say thank you. This is especially important in times where most workforces are remotely working and have limited human interaction, an appreciation meeting will be a great pick-me-up.
  • Send a video - Create an appreciation video for your employee which includes a thank you message from your CEO.
  • Thank you’ message - Send an employee a direct message, either through you company intranet or to their personal mobile number.


Promotion Ideas

  • New job title - Reward your employees with a new and advanced job title.
  • Ask for their help or opinion - As leadership, you should show how much you value your employees opinion by asking for their input on important company issues.
  • Send an invite to an executive meeting - Invite your top employee that is performing well in their role to join your executive team meeting.
  • Extra project - Give your employees an opportunity to work on an extra project beyond their regular responsibilities.


Specific Awards

  • Offer training opportunities - Give your employees the opportunity to grow in their role by offering them training opportunities.
  • A bonus - Some of the best employee recognition programs allow meaningful praise from peers in the form of a small bonus.
  • A raise - Show your recognition and appreciation by giving your employees a raise.


Employee recognition in the workplace: A must have for successful companies

In all workplaces today, employee recognition programs are no longer just nice to have, they’re vital to improve your company’s employee engagement

If you want to keep your employees happy, satisfied and productive, you need to let them know their hard work is recognised and appreciated by giving out the rewards and recognition that they deserve.

Want to be an employee engagement expert?

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