How Employee Recognition Benefits Businesses
Whether you run a small local business or a large multinational, the success of many organizations lies with its people or human resources.
Even with the best tech, the heart of the company is its people, who dedicate their time and efforts to growing the business and making it a success. As competition in the global economy increases, leaders and HR practitioners acknowledge the value of a happy, satisfied workforce.
A good way to ensure employees' satisfaction is to recognize them. Because of this, many HR departments put together and continuously develop recognition programs designed to keep workers happy. Recognition programs aim to recognize and reward good work but may also recognize other important milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries. Companies may use platforms or employee recognition software specifically designed to recognize employees to streamline the process.
There are many ways that employers can recognize employees. Recognition can be formal, like at a year-end conference, or informal, where a manager can acknowledge and thank an employee for their efforts in passing. In some cases, recognition can involve something tangible like a bonus or gift; in other cases, it may be a simple thank you verbally or via email.
Some companies may gift employees for birthdays, work anniversaries, or holidays.
Management must know how to recognize an employee and whether or not recognition comes with a bonus or gift.
While employee recognition is in place to enhance the employees' experience at work, there are several benefits that the company can enjoy.
Attract and Retain Top Talent
Since many companies compete globally, they have a wider net of available talent. While this may be an advantage, it also means that top candidates have a wider range of potential companies to work for. In the past, it was common for employees to join a firm as a young adult and remain with the company for the duration of their career, regardless of how they felt about the job, employer, and workplace.
These days, it's common and easy for employees to job-hop and move from one company to another if they feel unappreciated or undervalued. Because of this, HR practitioners not only need to work on attracting the best candidates but also need to make sure these employees feel valued and happy at work so that they retain them.
Lower Staff Turnover
High staff turnover rates are bad for businesses. It takes time and money to go through the process of searching for and placing new staff, and once new people have been hired, it takes time to train and onboard them.
A high staff turnover also slows down productivity as, depending on how long it takes to fill a position, the position may be vacant for some time. In this case, the work stalls or is assigned to other employees, adding to their workload. Once a new candidate is hired, it takes time to train and onboard them.
It is typically more cost-effective and efficient to have staff stay with a company for longer so that work processes and flows are disrupted.
Improves Employee Motivation and Productivity
People are naturally wired to seek validation. Employees want to know that their efforts are appreciated and that their seniors and peers value their contribution. Often, recognition is linked to engagement and motivation. When employees feel valued, they are motivated to work harder and increase their efforts since they know they are being seen. This improves productivity.
On the other hand, companies that don't recognize or reward employees may notice that their staff's motivation may decrease. Employees who think management doesn't acknowledge their efforts may adopt a 'why bother' attitude since they feel their work goes unnoticed.
Reinforces Desired Behaviour
Positive reinforcement is an ideology that states that by praising a specific type of behaviour, people are more likely to repeat it. In the workplace, employees want their seniors to be pleased with them. So, if seniors recognize or praise good work or particular behaviour, employees are more likely to repeat it.
For example, if an employee puts a lot of time and effort into doing a task and their manager praises them for it, that employee is likely to put the same amount of effort into future tasks knowing that it will please their manager. In this way, the company is getting the desired outcome of high-quality work.
Recognizing employees, their hard work and their efforts are vital for the business's success. Recognition programs help leaders and HR to ensure employees feel appreciated, which improves productivity, helps attract and retain the best talent, reinforces desired behaviour, and boosts motivation.