Appreciating your people: The case for recognition

Alistair Dunn-Coleman

02/03/2018
Categories: Recognition, Culture

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”

- William James, Psychologist

When it comes to employee experiences, receiving encouraging feedback is one of the most powerful and emotive. If we think about all our employees as ‘performers’, where would the likes of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, and Lionel Messi be without their coaches spurring them on, and the crowds at stadiums pushing them onto greatness? Yes, there is an element of self-drive and determination in the individual, but all those words of encouragement help them reach new heights.

If you also consider how we interact with our children and their learning and achievements at school, encouraging feedback is a key component. At my son’s school, they get dinosaur stickers for being a ‘Try-a-tops’, a ‘Prove -a- dactyl’ and ‘Exceed-a-saurus’, and the stickers encourage parents (and others) to ask the child why they’ve been rewarded. As we get older, the encouraging feedback seems to dry up to a trickle.

When we are at work, there may be a recognition scheme that allows managers to award shopping vouchers based on performance or long service, but it’s all very formal and infrequent. With the advancement of technology, there is no reason why we can’t have easy-to-use systems that allow your employees/performers to give and receive a virtual pat on the back. But why should you bother to create this culture of thanks?

Getting the best out of your performers

“If you believe, as I do, that your employees truly are your most valuable asset, you will do whatever you can to help them do their jobs as well as possible.”
- Harvey Mackay, Businessman and author

Words of recognition from a colleague have a positive impact on the receiver, who get a small shot of dopamine. In turn, the giver of the recognition also feels a sense of satisfaction. The beauty of technology these days is that everyone can see the recognition that you have received, and this publicity gives an added boost to the employee. The result is happier employees.

When people receive recognitions, it boosts their psychic income by making them feel valued, and this in turn provides a sense of safety and security in what they are doing. The knock-on impact of this is that they are given the confidence to push the boundaries and be innovative, rather than being scared of trying something different and being reprimanded. The result is employees being more innovative.

The Gallup Q12 survey (used to measure engagement) gives over several questions to recognition and its related effects:

  • In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  • Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
  • Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  • At work, do your opinions seem to count?

All of these questions can be answered with the implementation and ongoing encouragement of a recognition scheme. The result is employees being more engaged at work.

So, if you get your recognition scheme right, you end up with happier performers, who are more innovative and engaged.

Creating the right environment for your performers

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
- Peter Drucker, Management Consultant

We previously talked about recognition benefitting your employees and enabling them to get the best out of themselves. The knock-on impact is that it creates the right environment for your employees to thrive by building appreciation into your culture. Through a successful recognition experience, your employees will build relationships with others through these positive experiences. These experiences make the employee feel valued, more confident, and gives them a feeling of belonging to the company. The consequences of this is that people feel more inspired, enthusiastic and empowered, and these are the traits you want in your culture. The result is a positive culture in your company, and who doesn’t want to work at a company that promotes positivity?

When setting up your recognition platform, you want to relate it back to company goals, strategy, and most importantly, values. Recognition is an excellent communication tool for people to understand what your values are, and then recognise people against them to embed them in your organisation. You want to end up with the values that are ingrained in your culture, and a successful recognition platform is a terrific way of enabling this. The result is the embedding of your values with employees. 

A culture of appreciation helps move your business towards being a human-centred organisation as it is about people, not processes. At its core, recognition is about people and their emotions, and as recognition becomes part of your company, it will help drive attachment to the company through positivity.

Now you can inspire your company culture with amazing recognition technology! OneHub Recognition is taking the workplace by storm. Read all about how it’s changing the future of work. Or, you can book a demo with one of our experts.

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