Staff recognition – 82% say they work harder if appreciated

A recent TimesJobs study analysed the views of India Inc staff and revealed some compelling statistics on the potential impact of staff recognition. 82% of staff said they were willing to work harder if they feel their bosses appreciate them. 90% of employees said they would stay around for longer in their current company if they felt appreciated for the work they were doing.

However, in the same research 59% of employees are saying their bosses don’t show enough appreciation. The report reveals the majority of staff feel seriously undervalued. That is a big opportunity missed.

The report reaffirms similar messages that have been highlighted in other research. For instance, Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey tells us four in five staff feel motivated to work harder when their manager shows appreciation for their work. That compares very favourably with the 38% of staff who say they are motivated to work harder when their manager’s demanding it or the 37% who work harder because they’re worried about losing their job.

The evidence surrounding the impact of appreciation continues to build and it makes the case for why companies should be doing more of it. From increased productivity to reduced turnover, it’s become apparent that conveying gratitude and appreciation can have a big impact on business success.

What is it about feeling genuinely appreciated that makes staff prepared to do more?

It affects individual staff in several different ways but a lot of it comes down to the fact that staff are being told they are valued. Feeling valued tells us we are respected and well regarded for the work we are carrying out. If we feel we are good at what we do – and that’s one of the messages we get every time our manager shows appreciation – it builds confidence and helps us feel more competent in our job. That’s a good way to maintain interest and enthusiasm for doing it and it helps explain why increased appreciation and recognition makes employees go above and beyond their specific duties.

Recognition is also an effective way to deliver feedback. Praise and appreciation helps people see how their work has made a difference and helps them understand why. That makes them far more likely to repeat a particular action or behaviour. Staff recognition also lets managers quietly send out messages indicating what they admire and where it fits in with business needs – something which isn’t always immediately evident. Recognition acts as a subtle communication tool which employees respond to.

It is not only managers who can show appreciation either. While the TimesJobs study is looking at managers showing appreciation, recognition can come from every level in the organisation including from colleagues. In fact, many staff often feel more accountable to their peers than to their manager, so the impact of that kind of appreciation can be significant. Regular recognition from peers can help with building strong teams and relationships between people involved in shared goals or projects.

Much of this is not rocket science. Staff recognition software helps make the working environment a place where people want to be, and every company needs that.