Call it whatever you want: recognition, honor, pride, self-esteem . . . it’s very basic – the inner desire to have one’s achievements noticed. In some cases, a pat on the back will do the job. In others, it is tangible recognition. Whatever it is, it represents that you are important and your efforts are appreciated – you’re a winner, a performer.
~ Joe Cronin, President, Incentive Services
Every employee has an innate desire for recognition – recognition for hard work, for dedication, for accomplishments and contributions to the organization. Every employer wants their employees to be fully engaged – engaged in work, in corporate values and in organizational objectives. It is the intersection of these two desires that leads to the growth and success of both the employee and the company. In fact, it is the sincere recognition of employee accomplishments which contribute to engaged, excited employees who are ready to contribute to the organization each day.
According to a study by The Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI), “ . . . employees are engaged by managers who recognize employees and mobilize their teams for Peak Performance” (2009). In addition, studies by Towers Watson have shown that “ . . . employees who receive recognition in the workplace feel more valued and more committed, plus they can deliver 57 percent more effort than employees that feel underappreciated” (Cordray, 2013). Highly-satisfied, engaged employees deliver substantial, quantitative and qualitative results within the organization.
At a basic level, employee engagement starts with every employee’s need to be noticed and recognized for a job well-done. In many instances, this acknowledgment might be words of praise or thanks for extra time or dedication. Perhaps it is “ . . . the kind words of encouragement, the handshakes, the smiles and pats on the back – given sincerely and frequently” (Cordray, 2013). Do not, however, underestimate the importance of tangible recognition. When “given sincerely and with genuine thought”, tangible rewards can show employees that they are a valuable and recognized part of the organization.
No matter the reward – tangible or intangible, large or small, public or private – every company has the ability to demonstrate to its employees that they are noticed for their efforts and that they are recognized, valued, and appreciated.