Most people don’t argue against recognition. But many people share that they struggle to prioritize it as a necessary action for the business.
Consider this: If people are more motivated at work (more engaged), they will be more productive and profitable as employees. And, consider that recognition is a key way to improve employee engagement. So, let's change the mindset of recognition as a nice-to-have to recognition as an essential leadership strategy to support your culture and your business results.
To make the case for recognition, let’s review what motivates humans at work. Research from as far back as the 1930s to today points to very similar answers. What motivates humans at work is:
- Feeling respected
- Understanding their purpose
- Having strong relationships
These results make sense as ways to get the most out of our people, but how can we build this into our culture? The sky's the limit for creative ways to build these connections, but why not use a practice that most of us already know is important? Recognition.
Respect (n.) - high or special regard
When your efforts – small and large – are recognized on a regular basis, it sends the message that you are respected. Knowing you are working at a place that respects you drives engagement.
When recognition highlights the benefits your work brings to clients, coworkers or the business, it helps connect you to the day-to-day value you bring. Understanding the importance of your work is motivation to keep it up!
Face-to-face recognition builds relationships between two people, recognizing someone at the start of a meeting strengthens the group dynamic and telling the story of that recognition online allows others to learn about and admire people across the whole company. When you feel connected to a network of people, you are more engaged, more likely to do your best work and less likely to leave.
When done well, and done often enough, recognition is a clear way to support all three aspects of an engaging culture.
Check out the resources on How to write powerful (and sustainable) recognition and What to recognize (to make the biggest difference) for more information on recognition. Or learn more about the three things that drive engagement in the RESOURCE: Executive book summary for CRAVE.