Maybe awards season has us focused on RECOGNITION. Hey, we love movies, AND oh yeah, we are thrilled that we just won an award for The Mindshare Podcast. But back to the point… it's really the new Gallup research results just out on the POWER of recognition that informs today's newsletter by Michele, and she shares some solid tips for you on cultivating that power. Read, share, follow and reach out to us. We want to hear your thoughts on this topic.
The Power of Recognition
If you’re a leader in an organization and think that having an internal rewards and recognition program at your company means you don’t have to think about being intentional regarding how you offer recognition to your team members… think again. Employee recognition programs aren’t enough for retention and engagement.
Recognition is a powerful tool, and, according to a recent Gallup study, it has the power to save some companies over $16.1 million in turnover while boosting emotional well-being and reducing burnout.
However, as a former talent acquisition leader who has helped tens of hundreds of professionals find jobs, I didn’t need a study to know that. It became very clear that most of the people seeking new opportunities were doing so because they stopped feeling valued at their current place of employment. What’s more, is that I’m convinced that many of their managers had no idea that their employees weren’t feeling valued and were blindsided by their employees’ resignations.
Before we get into how to be more intentional with giving recognition, let’s look at why recognition is so important and why company rewards and recognition programs just aren’t enough.
Why is recognition important:
When employees are recognized they are 10x more likely to feel a sense of belonging to their organization. Recognition also increases wellbeing which we can equate to having more positive emotions. Thanks to the work of Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, we know that when we experience positive emotions we are more creative and we are better problem solvers, and make better decisions. So clearly it’s in an organization’s best interest to help improve employee wellbeing. Recognition is a fast and free well-being strategy.
So Why Aren’t Rewards and Recognition Programs Enough?
Many of the employees at companies I’ve been working with recently report that they find, in-the-moment, and spontaneous recognition from their manager to be more meaningful and more motivating to them than being rewarded through a formalized program. There are two major reasons for this. It’s too formal and too impersonal. Employees recognize that these programs are just that, programs. The act of giving recognition then becomes obligatory. As a result, it also feels much less meaningful and less personal.
How to Get Recognition Right?
There are two things leaders need to keep in mind:
Every single employee not just wants, but needs, to feel valued.
Employees want to feel that their manager cares about them personally.
Recognition covers both of these. But let’s be clear, recognition isn’t as simple as saying “good job,” and it’s not about constantly complimenting everyone on their work. To be effective recognition has to be purposeful. Like anything, if overdone, it will feel inauthentic and ultimately meaningless. So here are some tips for leveraging the power of recognition.
Make it Genuine:
If you’re not genuine in how you give recognition, your efforts will backfire. If your employee perceives your attempt at recognition as insincere, you could do more damage than good. Be thoughtful about what you’re recognizing about the employee and be thoughtful in how you deliver your message. Be specific about what the employee did well and the positive impact their actions had on the end result.
Make it Personal:
When you recognize someone’s achievement, you’re not just recognizing facts, you’re recognizing effort. There are two levels of personal you need to consider. There’s the personal aspect that is important to the employee and the aspect of it that’s personal to you as the manager. For instance, you could simply recognize the effort and dedication of the employee, but if you add in the second layer, how much you appreciate their dedication, it will be even more impactful.
Make it Timely:
It’s important to offer recognition as close to the time of the action. Don’t wait for your 1:1 next week to recognize the improvements an employee demonstrates in the moment. If people are doing things that are worthy of recognition, it’s likely they are also pushing themselves, stretching themselves and they may have even struggled along the way. Being recognized next month for the struggle you’re going through now, is never as powerful as being recognized for the struggle you’re currently in.
Make it Thoughtful:
It’s great to make a statement of recognition about an employee in a team meeting. But don’t let that stop you from taking the time to put together a thoughtful email of appreciation. It can be as simple as saying, I know I mentioned it briefly in our meeting but I wanted you to know how impressed I am with your pitch. Your dedication is very much appreciated and I can see the results of all your hard work. Just wanted to send a personal note….
The Bottom Line:
We all need to feel like the work we do is appreciated and that we’re valued at work. Not just for the work we do, but for the unique individuals we are. Recognition, though a critical work strategy, needs to be authentic and spontaneous in order to show that it’s indeed meaningful. If the giver is genuine and authentic in the delivery it will be received. Part of being able to deliver the message properly is really knowing the individual you manage and how s/he would most appreciate being recognized. In fact, really knowing the individuals on your team and then caring about their success in a personal way is what it all comes down to. That is the first domino that needs to fall in order to create a chain reaction of strengthened wellbeing, a reinforced sense of belonging, greater retention, and ultimately higher performance.
✨Do you have questions on what you can do to take recognition to the next level on your team or how to build a culture of recognition in your organization? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a call.
🥇 🥈 🥉 Liana & Michele
Speaking of recognition - check out our social posts to give you more info around the Signal Award won by The Mindshare Podcast. Linked In is here: bit.ly/3kWAgYm