Can appreciating employees really have an effect on their productivity? As a one off, no, it can’t. But if it happens every time your employees have done something worthy of recognition, then that’s exactly what it can do, and research is linking employee recognition to productivity. Research has demonstrated that companies who excel at recognition are 12 times more likely to generate strong business results; in the organisations where recognition occurred, productivity was about 14% better than in companies where there was no recognition.
So how is employee recognition capable of delivering that kind of impact? Here are some of the reasons why it can have such a positive influence on an employees’ productivity levels.
Employee recognition shapes culture: culture drives business performance
Employee recognition programmes highlight, and as a result reinforce, the kinds of positive behaviours and actions you want in your organisation. Over time that’ll have a big impact on your culture. Evidence shows those companies with strong positive cultures have higher growth levels in revenue, stock price, net income and employment.
Recognised employees have a reason to sustain maximum effort
A one off gift is a nice way to say thank you. But it’s not going to lead to sustained engagement.
However, if you regularly and thoughtfully recognise an employee, that employee is going to feel a greater sense of commitment. They’ll have a greater sense of loyalty. They’ll be more likely to embrace responsibilities and initiatives with a greater sense of purpose and give their all, all the time; Temkin Group research suggests 91% of highly engaged employees consistently give maximum levels of effort at work.
Employee recognition ensures the high achieving employees don’t feel ignored
Employees have different skills. They operate at different levels of ability and achievement. There’s a place for them all but every company needs their high achievers to set the example and raise performance standards. But what happens if your best employees don’t feel they’re getting acknowledged? That their contribution, which goes above the call of duty, is just taken for granted? It is stretching reality to suggest that high achieving employees are going to leave your company for a lack of recognition alone, or that their productivity levels will instantly drop, but why risk it?
Employee recognition encourages the specialists in their field to share their knowledge, not hoard it
In your company you’re going to have some people with specialist knowledge. And you need a way to tap into that knowledge, because sometimes people don’t share it as readily you’d like them to. Perhaps they’re not willing? They may even not realise how valuable their knowledge is? But recognition is a way to draw it out. The sense of reward employees feel for being appreciated provides a big incentive to share knowledge and experience.
Employee Recognition helps shape “the right” approach, and the right approach shapes results
Employee recognition promotes specific behaviours. It can be linked to achieving individual goals and the company objectives, or to living company values. Is safety a goal? Then show appreciation for efforts to make safety a priority. Are you targeting an increase in productivity in a particular part of your business? Then use employee recognition to continually thank anyone putting in effort to work towards that goal. That steady flow of recognition continually feeds an employee’s intrinsic motivation levels. And that can play a big part in achieving some seriously impressive results for your business.