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The role of employee recognition in driving motivation for employees
Mandar Bhagwat | February 12th, 2018, 8:04 am

What do you think about the role of employee recognition in driving motivation for employees. Well, everyone has their views, but employee recognition, done on time, done contextually helps a lot in improving motivation levels of employees.

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the timely, informal or formal acknowledgement of a person’s or team’s behavior, effort or business result that supports the organization’s goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations.

To put it simply, it is appreciation for a job well done, a job which is helping it in its goals and is in line with the values that the organization feels are very valuable to them.[irp]

To be really effective in your job, you need to develop a culture of appreciation in your teams. Individuals need to be appreciated on-time and ‘in the moment’ for them to feel good about it and for them to continue to display such characteristics in the future. This is one of the reasons, why companies are spending increasing amount of time in exploring the role of employee recognition in driving motivation for employees.

Other team members would also feel immensely motivated by this recognition bestowed on their team mates and will secretly resolve that the next time will be their turn to receive the recognition. That is what keeps teams motivated and charged up.

Appreciation is a fundamental human need

Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued by others. When employees and their work is valued, their satisfaction and productivity at work rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. It also charges up their peers within the team as well as across teams to increase their level of performance. You might also want to read Engagement impacts business outcomes in a fundamental way

Praise and recognition are essential to an outstanding workplace. People want to be respected and valued by others for their contribution. Everyone feels the need to be recognized as an individual or member of a group and to feel a sense of achievement for a job well done or even for a valiant effort. Everyone wants an occasional ‘pat on the back’ to make them feel good.

There are two aspects to employee recognition:

  1. The first aspect is to actually see, identify or realize an opportunity to praise someone. If you are not in a receptive frame of mind you can easily pass over many such opportunities. In most organizations, this happens all too frequently.
  2. The other aspect of employee recognition is, of course, the physical act of doing something to acknowledge and praise people for their good work. In several organizations, this happens periodically, typically month or quarterly.

Why should you get involved in employee recognition?

Recognizing people for their good work sends an extremely powerful message to the recipient, their work team and other employees through informal and other formal communication channels. Employee recognition is therefore a potent communication technique.

Managers need reinforcing and coaching. They need a program, guidelines, principles and procedures to help them apply recognition principles effectively within their area of responsibility. [irp posts=”691″ name=”Changing Landscape of Recognition – Past, Present and Future”]

Cost benefits of an employee recognition program

  • The cost of a recognition system is quite small and the benefits are large when implemented effectively and across the organization. Costs involved could be in the technology and spreading awareness of the program. Once the program is a success, it starts spreading completely through the informal network and it runs on its own.
  • Leadership teams need to make sure that the recognition are being provided in line with the organization culture that is valued and for jobs/tasks that are truly delivering value to the organization.
  • Increased individual productivity – the act of recognizing desired behavior increases the repetition of the desired behavior, and therefore productivity. This is classic behavioral psychology. The reinforced behavior supports the organization’s mission and key performance indicators.
  • Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work – more time spent focusing on the job and less time complaining.
  • Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
  • Teamwork between employees is enhanced.
  • Retention of quality employees increases – lower employee turnover.
  •  Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.

We certainly hope that this post was able to give you some ideas about the role of employee recognition in driving motivation for employees. Go ahead and get an employee recognition program rolling at your organization. It isn’t too difficult, you just need to have the vision and the willingness to do it.

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