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What is Effective Recognition – and Why is It Important?

By Dan Romer

What is Effective Recognition – and Why is It Important?

By Dan Romer

It’s no secret that employees are more productive, more engaged, and stay with an organization longer when they feel that they are valued and appreciated. In fact, a whopping 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized (source). That’s nearly ¾ of the workforce that might produce at a higher caliber if only they felt more valued for their contributions.  

That insight is pretty powerful. Unfortunately, most companies today struggle in this area due to a lack of clarity around how to outwork this practically. That’s where our Manage 4 Performance™ software and approach come in. 

But First, What is Effective Recognition? 

Anytime you show authentic appreciation for an employee’s positive contributions to your company, you’re offering recognition of their efforts. However, what distinguishes “recognition” from “effective recognition” is the value and impact it has on employees.  

While it isn’t “wrong” to recognize every employee’s accomplishment in the same way, it may not mean much to your people. Sure, it’s a nice gesture to give everyone a token of your appreciation, but in order for recognition to be truly effective it has to be meaningful to the recipient. 

Consider how it feels when you receive a gift that shows the gift giver truly knows you – something that matters to you personally. It means far more than a gift that might end up donated or regifted, right? That’s how recognition can be for your employees. They feel much more valued and appreciated when you recognize them in a way that shows you have taken the time to get to know them. Consider your employees that shudder at the thought of public recognition versus those who enjoy a little time in the spotlight every now and then. Celebrating them both in the same way would not get you very far.  

Additionally, the most effective recognition occurs as real-time as possible. While most employers stick to an annual review to provide their employees with feedback, Zenger Folkman reports that 80% of employees prefer real-time recognition and feedback over formal reviews.  

How to Implement Effective Recognition 

Creating a company-wide culture of effective recognition is the ultimate goal. If only management buys into this approach, your organizational growth will be stunted. While top-down recognition is certainly a strong starting point, peer-to-peer and even employee-to-manager recognition can at times be far more powerful.  

So how do you get there? 

  1. Start from the top. The first step is in creating a culture of effective recognition is simply stressing how important this is to the company as a whole. When leadership gets behind something it can often be the wind in the sails of the rest of the company that gets the whole fleet moving. When c-suite leadership takes the time to recognize their employees, the effects can be contagious – and you’ll need buy in to create a movement in your organization. 
  2. Know your people. It’s worth stating again that truly effective recognition is unique to the individual. In order to appreciate employees in a way that matters to them, you have to actually know them! Our Manage 4 Performance™ allows you to dig into what makes every employee tick so that you can better coach them and celebrate their wins. We also recommend implementing a behavioral analytics tool, such as The Predictive Index, to dive deeper into your people’s natural tendencies.  
  3. Know the goal. It’s hard to celebrate a win if no one is keeping score. While we’re certainly not in favor of micromanagement, defining what success looks like for each of your employees will make it easy and natural to celebrate their progress. When you know the desired outcome, you will know when your employees hit their target – and that’s something to be celebrated! This is another benefit of implementing a software, like Manage 4 Performance™, because it houses all of this information for you in one place and walks you through creating specific objectives for every role in your company.  
  4. Make it real-time. As often as possible, offer recognition in the moment. Not only is this just more impactful from a personal standpoint, it also is a more effective way to increase the likelihood that your employee will repeat that positive behavior. Sometimes this may not be realistic or practical, so our rule of thumb is “the sooner, the better” when it comes to employee recognition. Maybe you cannot provide real-time recognition, but the next day is far better than months down the road! 
  5. Be specific. Although often delivered with the best of intentions, “Good job” has virtually no meaning. Aim to give recognition specific to what you see your employee doing well. How are they going above and beyond? What have they done that you want to celebrate? If you’ve already tackled step #3 of knowing the goal, you’ll be better equipped to offer specific feedback to your employees. 
  6. Create a space to document the wins. One of the best things you can do to boost employee morale and celebrate their long-term growth is to track the recognition you’re giving them! When you notice and call out a way that they’re excelling, log that somewhere so both of you can revisit it at any time. Again, we prefer to implement a system to do the heavy lifting for us versus logging this in an archaic excel spreadsheet.  
  7. Encourage recognition in all directions. While all of the above was written from the perspective of manager-led recognition, the final step to truly have a culture of effective recognition is to get everyone involved. Create a system, culture, and expectation that all voices are welcome (and encouraged!) to celebrate the success they see in others. In this phase, the hierarchical nature of business gets put to the side, leaving people connecting with other people – and that kind of culture is what we’re after. 

Why Effective Recognition is Important 

The benefits of recognizing your team are exponential. Employee recognition programs can enrich company culture, reduce turnover, increase profits, elevate the employee experience, and create an engaged team.  

It’s through something as simple as celebrating the wins of your people that employees feel seen, heard, and that they’re a part of something that matters. Recognized employees become engaged employees. When you care, they care – and that contagious culture is that’s the foundation for success. 

Learn more about how Manage 4 Performance™ can help create the culture of recognition you’re looking for by connecting with one of our team members today! 

It’s no secret that employees are more productive, more engaged, and stay with an organization longer when they feel that they are valued and appreciated. In fact, a whopping 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized (source). That’s nearly ¾ of the workforce that might produce at a higher caliber if only they felt more valued for their contributions.  

That insight is pretty powerful. Unfortunately, most companies today struggle in this area due to a lack of clarity around how to outwork this practically. That’s where our Manage 4 Performance™ software and approach come in. 

But First, What is Effective Recognition? 

Anytime you show authentic appreciation for an employee’s positive contributions to your company, you’re offering recognition of their efforts. However, what distinguishes “recognition” from “effective recognition” is the value and impact it has on employees.  

While it isn’t “wrong” to recognize every employee’s accomplishment in the same way, it may not mean much to your people. Sure, it’s a nice gesture to give everyone a token of your appreciation, but in order for recognition to be truly effective it has to be meaningful to the recipient. 

Consider how it feels when you receive a gift that shows the gift giver truly knows you – something that matters to you personally. It means far more than a gift that might end up donated or regifted, right? That’s how recognition can be for your employees. They feel much more valued and appreciated when you recognize them in a way that shows you have taken the time to get to know them. Consider your employees that shudder at the thought of public recognition versus those who enjoy a little time in the spotlight every now and then. Celebrating them both in the same way would not get you very far.  

Additionally, the most effective recognition occurs as real-time as possible. While most employers stick to an annual review to provide their employees with feedback, Zenger Folkman reports that 80% of employees prefer real-time recognition and feedback over formal reviews.  

How to Implement Effective Recognition 

Creating a company-wide culture of effective recognition is the ultimate goal. If only management buys into this approach, your organizational growth will be stunted. While top-down recognition is certainly a strong starting point, peer-to-peer and even employee-to-manager recognition can at times be far more powerful.  

So how do you get there? 

  1. Start from the top. The first step is in creating a culture of effective recognition is simply stressing how important this is to the company as a whole. When leadership gets behind something it can often be the wind in the sails of the rest of the company that gets the whole fleet moving. When c-suite leadership takes the time to recognize their employees, the effects can be contagious – and you’ll need buy in to create a movement in your organization. 
  2. Know your people. It’s worth stating again that truly effective recognition is unique to the individual. In order to appreciate employees in a way that matters to them, you have to actually know them! Our Manage 4 Performance™ allows you to dig into what makes every employee tick so that you can better coach them and celebrate their wins. We also recommend implementing a behavioral analytics tool, such as The Predictive Index, to dive deeper into your people’s natural tendencies.  
  3. Know the goal. It’s hard to celebrate a win if no one is keeping score. While we’re certainly not in favor of micromanagement, defining what success looks like for each of your employees will make it easy and natural to celebrate their progress. When you know the desired outcome, you will know when your employees hit their target – and that’s something to be celebrated! This is another benefit of implementing a software, like Manage 4 Performance™, because it houses all of this information for you in one place and walks you through creating specific objectives for every role in your company.  
  4. Make it real-time. As often as possible, offer recognition in the moment. Not only is this just more impactful from a personal standpoint, it also is a more effective way to increase the likelihood that your employee will repeat that positive behavior. Sometimes this may not be realistic or practical, so our rule of thumb is “the sooner, the better” when it comes to employee recognition. Maybe you cannot provide real-time recognition, but the next day is far better than months down the road! 
  5. Be specific. Although often delivered with the best of intentions, “Good job” has virtually no meaning. Aim to give recognition specific to what you see your employee doing well. How are they going above and beyond? What have they done that you want to celebrate? If you’ve already tackled step #3 of knowing the goal, you’ll be better equipped to offer specific feedback to your employees. 
  6. Create a space to document the wins. One of the best things you can do to boost employee morale and celebrate their long-term growth is to track the recognition you’re giving them! When you notice and call out a way that they’re excelling, log that somewhere so both of you can revisit it at any time. Again, we prefer to implement a system to do the heavy lifting for us versus logging this in an archaic excel spreadsheet.  
  7. Encourage recognition in all directions. While all of the above was written from the perspective of manager-led recognition, the final step to truly have a culture of effective recognition is to get everyone involved. Create a system, culture, and expectation that all voices are welcome (and encouraged!) to celebrate the success they see in others. In this phase, the hierarchical nature of business gets put to the side, leaving people connecting with other people – and that kind of culture is what we’re after. 

Why Effective Recognition is Important 

The benefits of recognizing your team are exponential. Employee recognition programs can enrich company culture, reduce turnover, increase profits, elevate the employee experience, and create an engaged team.  

It’s through something as simple as celebrating the wins of your people that employees feel seen, heard, and that they’re a part of something that matters. Recognized employees become engaged employees. When you care, they care – and that contagious culture is that’s the foundation for success. 

Learn more about how Manage 4 Performance™ can help create the culture of recognition you’re looking for by connecting with one of our team members today! 

 

Post Categories: Insights
Date Published: Nov 9, 2021
Post Categories: Insights
Date Published: Nov 9, 2021