Employee Recognition in the Workplace - Why It is Important?

April 10, 2022

Why employee recognition is important

These days nothing is of more importance than providing employee recognition in company cultures, as it helps to create an engaged workforce for the company. When the company employees are recognized, it helps boost their morale, increase their productivity, and build positive relationships. If employees get recognized for their contributions and achievements by the higher-ups and their peers, it ensures further quality performance by them, which in turn benefits both the company and the employees. However, employee recognition has a lot more importance beyond that. We will talk about that throughout this article. 

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition refers to the acknowledgment of the employees of a company or organization for their hard work, efforts, achievements, and exemplary performance. The goal of employee recognition in a workplace is to reinforce certain activities, practices, or behaviors, which will result in better performance of the employees and better and positive results for the business.

In a workplace, every employee does their part to keep the business running. They contribute to the success and growth of the company based on their own expertise and skills. When an employee works really hard to bring in better results for the company and puts in a lot of effort, it’s important that they feel appreciated and valued by the higher-ups of the company for all that. If employee recognition is provided to the employees of a workplace, it helps the company achieve massive success and growth by increasing employee motivation, employee engagement, employee productivity, employee satisfaction, and employee retention.

Why Employee Recognition Matters

The biggest motivator for an employee to do better in their job and bring in better results for the company is getting recognized by their peers and the higher-ups. Especially if their peers hold them in high esteem, it makes them feel highly valued, appreciated, and happy. They get more engaged with the workplace and their co-workers, and an engaged workforce is the most important thing for the success and growth of any company.

Based on the reports of the Society for Human Resource Management, 79% of the employees tend to work harder if there is an employee recognition program active in the workplace. If strong work performance is emphasized, it can create content for employees that will go above and beyond for the company. A company must care about the well-being of its employees, and employee recognition programs can help with that. They also come with a lot of benefits regarding a lot of business-related aspects, as well as achieving the desired success of the company. Engaged employees provide a better performance and are more committed and connected to the company. And employee recognition can increase employee engagement by 60%, that’s why it matters so much in any workplace.

True Importance of Employee Recognition

The importance of employee recognition is manifold. It helps a lot in improving numerous aspects of a workplace. Let’s have a look at the real importance that a proper employee recognition process comes with- 

Improves Work Environment

If the employees of a company feel overworked and underappreciated, it can turn the workplace morale down. It can create a highly negative environment in the workplace, which can lead to the employees leaving their jobs. That’s why it’s important that the employees are provided with the proper recognition they deserve for their contributions, efforts, and good performance. It will make the employees feel highly valued and appreciated, and as a result, the workplace environment will also improve significantly. It gets the employees motivated to do better in their jobs.

Increase Productivity and Profitability

By providing your employees with proper recognition, you can make them feel happy and valued. When the employees feel that way, it helps increase the overall productivity and profitability level of the workplace. Employees feel more engaged with the workplace when they are properly appreciated. It can lead to an increase in profitability by 21%. The productivity level of the employees also increases, as the employees tend to work more efficiently when their substantial work and achievements are rewarded. They feel encouraged to do better in their jobs.

Also, employee satisfaction is key to customer satisfaction. When the employees are happy, they can help improve customer satisfaction. And customer satisfaction is paramount for the success of any business, and employee recognition can help you with that.

Build Connections Among Team Members

If all the employees of a workplace are recognized properly for their individual efforts and contributions, as well as group achievements, it will help create an environment of trust and positivity in the workplace. Employees seem to thrive better in their work in such work environments. If peer-to-peer recognition is introduced and employees are publicly recognized for their performance, it encourages the employees to learn from each other. It also increases mutual trust and respect among employees. This also helps employees inspire each other, especially the other members of their teams. It helps build connections between team members and drives proper teamwork.

Strengthen Core Values

A proper employee recognition system can help strengthen the core values of a company. If employees are appreciated for demonstrating specific behaviors and abiding by certain values in the workplace, they will be more inclined to keep doing so. This way, you can easily strengthen the company’s core values among your employees. If you want to empower your employees and help them grow, you can incentivize their hard work and certain behavior with a proper recognition process. This way, you will be able to strengthen the core values of your company and enforce them in the workplace.

Reduce Employee Stress

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the most common reason for stress is the workplace. If employees are properly recognized for jobs well done, it can help reduce their stress. Also, recognition can lead to more workplace engagement for employees. When employees are engaged with their workplace and work in a highly positive and engaging environment, they feel less stressed.

It’s also important that each employee gets fairly recognized for their hard work and efforts. If it’s not done properly, it can create a negative impact on the employees, which can lead to even more stress. Stressed and unappreciated employees will poorly reflect on productivity and business. Also, if employees aren’t properly appreciated, it can lead to them stressing more about their performance. They might keep thinking if they are doing a good job and meeting the company standards or not.

So, if you implement a proper employee recognition process and recognize your employees well, it will be a huge help for your employees in relieving their stress.

Make Employees Feel Individually Valued

Employees want to feel valued in the eyes of their coworkers and managers. The real value of employee recognition comes from the appreciation provided by colleagues or coworkers, as it contains respect and value for the employees. It means recognition seems authentic when an employee is truly seen as someone valuable and is recognized for the value they bring to the team. If they are only acknowledged for their output, the employees will view themselves as work units that have only value based on how much they have produced. So, appreciation and recognition should be about recognizing the employees as people with special talents, personalities, and abilities. In short, they should feel unique and special through recognition.

Show Employees Their Work Matters

If employees are constantly worried about the importance of their job, it can get them highly disconnected from work. If an employee doubts if their work makes any difference or not, it can increase a feeling of detachment in them. Employees of corporations are more likely to feel this way, even though the role of every single employee is essential when it comes to the bigger picture. Employees can often fail to look where their contributions go in terms of the daily grind, so it’s important to zoom out on the contributions of each employee and remind them what kind of difference they make in the bigger picture and how much their work matters. It will make them feel more satisfied and connected with their work.

Cultivate a Culture of Self-Improvement

Having a proper employee recognition culture in place helps the employees with their growth and self-improvement. When the employees get recognized for their good performance and achievements, it drives them to keep doing a better job and bring in better results. It also drives them to go above and beyond. All these help an employee go through massive growth and self-improvement, as the employees will always try to do things in a better way. So, properly recognizing employees cultivates a culture of self-improvement.

Cultivate A Positive Environment of Trust & Respect

If an employee trusts their co-workers, it helps create a great work environment. On the other hand, if employees feel like their co-workers are constantly competing with them or rooting against them, it can create a highly toxic workplace environment. This type of work environment can make employees feel miserable and burnt out. Employee recognition, especially if it’s peer-to-peer recognition, can help to bring employees of a workplace together with mutual trust and respect. It helps create a friendly, warm, and collaborative work environment.

Positive Side Effects of Recognition

When the actual purpose of employee recognition is achieved, the employees feel valued, recognized, and appreciated in their workplace. They know that their work matters and makes a lot of difference in the workplace. All these make the employees feel more engaged with the workplace and more productive naturally. If the employees of a company sincerely experience these, it can enjoy the bottom-line advantages of a proper employee recognition program. These benefits are-

Increased Morale

If the higher-ups of a workplace properly understand the true purpose of providing recognition to the employees, it helps increase the level of employee morale in the workplace. As employees feel highly valued and recognized for their hard work and efforts, the morale of every individual increases. It also means the employees feel a heightened sense of job satisfaction and well-being. As the group morale increases, a highly positive work environment is created.

Higher Productivity

If employees are provided with genuine recognition for their work and contributions, it highly increases employee engagement. An engaged workforce is paramount for the success and growth of any organization or company. If employees get more engaged in the workplace, it also increases their productivity a lot. When employees are highly productive, they tend to bring in the desired results for the company. Without productive and motivated employees, a company can’t enjoy its desired success and growth. So, it’s important that the employees are provided with genuine appreciation and recognition.  According to psychological studies, even a simple thank you can increase productivity in people by 50%.

Higher Employee Retention

Whether your employee recognition program is a success or not can be determined by the employee retention rate. If employees feel properly appreciated and valued in a workplace for the efforts they put in for the company and their hard work, they get more inclined naturally to stay in that workplace for a longer period of time.

On the contrary, if employees of a workplace feel undervalued and underappreciated and feel that their work doesn’t matter much, they will be more likely to stay at that company for a short period and will switch the moment a better offer arrives at their doorstep. If you can put a proper and thoughtful employee recognition system in place for your company, it will help your company retain the best talents. Also, it will be able to become a dream company for the top talents in the industry.

Misconceptions About Recognition at Work

Even though employee recognition is highly valued globally at workplaces, some misconceptions about recognition at work might exist in certain workplaces. These misconceptions can cause problems for workplaces in implementing a proper employee recognition system and enjoying the benefits that the system can bring. Many workplaces look at employee recognition systems only as an opportunity to increase employee productivity and retention and don’t care about actually recognizing the efforts and hard work of the employees.

These practices can cause more harm than good. While implementing a recognition system at your workplace, if you only care about the profits and business benefits you will get out of it, it won’t have much positive impact on your employees. It’s important that you care about your employees and provide them with the recognition they deserve for their efforts, good work, and achievements. The recognition needs to be authentic and genuine.

If you think of profits and productivity as the primary goal for your recognition program, it can reduce the element of recognition and can turn recognition into a transaction. If the employees feel like recognition is being provided to them only as a way to increase profits and productivity, it can cause distrust. It also decreases the faith of the employees in the management. The entire recognition program turns into a failure as a result.

Final Words

Now you know how important it is to provide the employees of your company with the recognition they deserve. Employee recognition is highly crucial for the happiness and satisfaction of the employees, which in return, is highly important for bringing in the success and growth you desire for. In fact, elevating the employees is essential for making your customers or clients happy and keeping the business running. And you can provide recognition to your employees in a lot of ways, and they don’t have to be all grand and sparkling. Even a simple thank you can often do the trick. Just make sure that your employees feel appreciated and valued for the things they do, and you can do so by setting up a proper employee recognition program at your workplace.

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