Every company needs to make employee recognition a success

Is your current approach to employee recognition as effective as it could be? Never underestimate the motivating power of feeling recognised and appreciated. Get your employee recognition programme right and not only do you have a way to tell your employees they’re valued; you get to show them just how good your company really is.

Employee recognition programmes help companies achieve their goals. That’s right – failing to get employee recognition rocking in your business is going to affect the bottom line. Here are 4 reasons why.

1. It’ll help you recruit and retain your employees

Getting your recruitment right is vital. Effective employee engagement through recognition creates effective employee advocacy. Look at sites like Glassdoor. Or Weber Shandwick’s research into employee activism. The social and digital media era let’s employees be externally vocal. Companies need to encourage and harness positive activism.

Once you’ve gone to the effort of bringing the right people into your business, how much effort are you putting into keeping them? The obvious costs of high turnover include the expenses associated with recruiting and training replacements. But they also include things like the loss of valuable knowledge about the company. With the average cost of replacing an employee estimated to be over £30,000, you need to make sure you’re creating the kind of environment that encourages employees to stay.

One of the most important ways of attracting and holding on to your employees is by making sure they know they’re recognised and that their contributions are appreciated.

2. You’ll spot your top performers but you’ll give everyone else support and encouragement too

Employee recognition programmes are often a useful way of identifying who’s doing an exceptional job in your company. But you need to consider the impact of the kind of recognition programmes you have. Approaches like Employee of the Month can create resentment and accusations of favouritism. Instead, make sure your recognition programme applies to all employees and is one that allows regular, timely recognition to take place. That way, you’ll have ongoing insights into who your top contributors are while motivating everyone at the same time.

3. It reinforces values and shapes a positive company culture

Culture permeates everything. Customer service. Productivity. Financial performance. Evidence suggests companies that get it right can benefit from higher growth levels in revenue, stock price, net income and employment.

Employee recognition programmes provide a way for companies to mould the kind of culture they need.

Use recognition as a platform to continually show appreciation for certain actions and behaviours in your business and you’re sending out positive messages about the kinds of action and behaviours that are desirable. Those behaviours should be ones that align with your company values, goals and strategies.

For example, do you need to elevate your company approach to customer experience? Then use your employee recognition programme to give rewards and thanks for providing exceptional service. You’re recognising high-value activities. You’re reinforcing your core values. And you’re tapping into that particular employee’s need to be given appreciation and generating intrinsic motivation at the same time.

4. It nurtures and strengthens the manager / employee relationship

What’s the one thing that can make or break employee engagement? The relationship between the manager and their employee. A strong relationship where managers know their employees individually and know what matters to each one (make no mistake, it will be different from person to person) is the key to improving employee engagement. An effective manager/employee relationship means increased discretional effort and productivity. It means the employee feels secure, supported and valued.

Effective employee recognition is about demonstrating personalised appreciation. It’s about engaging your employees. It’s about motivating them and enthusing them in all that they do. It’s about building a culture they want to be part of.

Only then can businesses analyse the data, make sure managers are building the relationships that genuinely matter to employees, and ultimately see the positive impact on the bottom line.