Employees Crave Recognition, Give it to Them!
Employee’s crave recognition. Think of how our reliable dog friends become when they are praised for a certain behavior that we like. In addition, a two-handed ear or neck rubbing has them excited to do it all over again, just for that delightful payback!
Employees repeat praised behavior. Managers need to do it more. Consider, employee disengagement is high in most organizations. One reason is that managers don’t recognize or encourage them enough. Instead, the boss only talks to them about problems. Note these dismal trends:
- 58% of employees say “give more recognition” when asked by leaders what will improve engagement.
- 65% of employees say they weren’t recognized at all last year.
- 67% of employees state that they had no recognition in the last seven days.
- 69% of employees say they would work harder if they are appreciated more.
- 70% of employees say the most meaningful recognition costs nothing.
- 88% of employees say they don’t get enough recognition or acknowledgement at work.
Wow! We also know from research that 8 out of 10 managers are unqualified or ill trained. So, there is an obvious problem there, right? Consequently, they aren’t doing a lot of things right. Obviously, they give little recognition to their employees.
How to Do a Great Job of Recognition
Recently, I attended a quarterly meeting of one of my clients, to give a speech and do leadership training. Part of the meeting included recognition for quarterly results. They had a dozen different categories. Awards included peer recognition, incentives, cash bonuses, plaques, pictures, and lots of applause. In contrast, many of the companies I have consulted with, I had to develop and give the recognition. Some treated as disposable commodities. If you check out Fortune’s Top 100 best companies, you will find examples of excellent and regular ways to appreciate employees.
Look, when you treat people respectfully and genuinely, you do appreciate their efforts. This is really a values and relationship issue. Does the direct supervisor make an effort to praise or reward his or her team for the performance gains? Managers or companies who don’t value caring for people won’t think twice about not giving praise or other recognition. It’s always about ‘what are you doing for me now?’ On, the other hand, managers who do value people appreciate their efforts. They do this especially in a one on one format. This is the most powerful praise because it comes from a value based trusting relationship. For example, people don’t need an award just for showing up for work. Recognition pays off with higher morale and better performance. It is a key to effective performance management. Leaders must do much better, don’t you agree?
Resources for Even More on Recognition
Check out these books for ideas:
- 1501 Ways to Recognize Employees by Bob Nelson
- The Carrot Principle by Gostick and Elton
- How Full is Your Bucket by Rath and Clifton
Think of the best manager you ever worked for? Why did you pick that person? My experience says they set high standards, treated people fairly, communicated well, coached effectively, and gave liberal praise. Did you do your best or slough off for them? My hunch says you tried hard and kept trying to be better. What supervisor or manager wouldn’t want that?