Employee engagement - The power of recognition in the workplace

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Employee engagement - The power of recognition in the workplace

15th February 2017

You should be spending at least 1% of your payroll on recognition. That may be a bold statement to make but it's hard to argue with. 85% of companies who spend at least 1% of payroll on recognition see a positive impact on employee engagement1.


Recognition from managers and colleagues has a notable effect on motivation in the workplace. This, in turn, drives productivity, employee retention, customer service and sales. Which ultimately drives profitability and growth.


Despite this, a large proportion of the workforce doesn't feel recognised and appreciated. A number of organisations are simply paying lip service to the concept of recognition. Many others struggle to put effective programmes in place.


Employee engagement - Research results


What is the business case?

Are you finding it difficult to make a business case for investing in recognition? Perhaps you've struggled to push recognition in the past and good intentions have fallen by the wayside. By taking a look at what the research shows we can add a bit more commercial weight to the argument.


Employee engagement - The case for recognition - Research results


Employee engagement is seen as the 'Holy Grail' for many organisations and with good reason. Imagine getting almost 70% of your workforce working harder. The savings and increased productivity would be significant. Or what if you could reduce attrition rates? For most organisations the costs associated with employee turnover and re-recruitment are considerable. 


The power of recognition

The impact of successful recognition programmes cannot be underestimated. When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of employees replied 'give recognition'6. Praise and commendation from managers rates as the top motivator for peformance, beating out other financial and non-cash incentives7.


But introducing a recognition programme is only the first step. Doing it right is an important part of getting any initiative to succeed. Only 14% of organisations provide managers with the necessary tools for reward and recognition8. And while 75% of companies have some sort of recognition programme, 87% of these focus only on long service awards9.


Building a successful recognition programme

Having accepted the need for employee recognition, how do you make sure it's a success? Here are three key foundations on which to build your recognition programme.


  1. Align your recognition strategy with your core values
    Recognition programmes tied to corporate values are more effective than those without. Reward and recognise people for behaviours and performance which support your organisation's objectives, targets and culture.
  2. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition
    Peer-to-peer recognition is 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition1. An online portal, enabling employees to send thank you messages to their colleagues, is an easy and effective way of doing this.
  3. Give your managers the tools to recognise their team
    Provide ways for your managers to send thank you messages, give instant rewards and recognise team success. The easier the process, the more likely your managers will use it on a regular basis.


All this creates a culture of recognition and appreciation. To the extent it becomes a habit throughout the organisation. The effects can be remarkable.


Active create and deliver programmes designed to help companies improve employee engagement. Our online recognition platform makes it easy for you to integrate and manage your recognition programmes. To find out more about how this can work for you please contact us.


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1Source: SHRM/Globoforce, Employee Recognition Survey, 2012

2Source: Towers Watson, Turbocharging Employee Engagement: The Power of Recognition From Managers, 2009

3Source: Bersin by Deloitte, The Employee Recognition Maturity Model, 2012

4Source: Socialcast, #E2sday: The Power of Recognition in the Enterprise

5Source: Globoforce, Moodtracker: The Growing Influence of Employee Recognition, Spring 2012

6Source: Psychometrics, A Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace, 2010

7Source: McKinsey Motivating People, Getting Beyond Money, 2009

8Source: Aberdeen Group, The Power of Employee Recognition, 2013

9Source: Bersin by Deloitte, The State of Employee Recognition, 2012


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