Employee Recognition: A Guide To Engagement and Productivity

Woman smiling at colleagues

It’s no secret that the modern work environment can be anxiety-inducing, which is a big problem for companies and their employees alike. Feelings of anxiety or burnout can decrease motivation and productivity, and as a corporate leader, it’s your responsibility to cultivate a workplace that combats these issues.

The answer to this problem: employee recognition. 53% of employees say they would stay longer at a company if their employer showed more appreciation, and 81% of employees are motivated to work harder when their efforts are recognized. 

So how can your company properly recognize its employees? Let’s explore the world of employee recognition to increase engagement and productivity within your organization.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is the corporate effort to show employees that their hard work is noticed and appreciated. In the same way that your company might disperse customer appreciation gifts to recognize loyal constituents or thank the custodial team for taking care of your building, you should recognize employees, too, with meaningful tactics that effectively show your gratitude.

This includes any efforts your company makes to show employee appreciation, as well as the ways you allow employees to encourage each other. Recognition can take many forms, such as monetary compensation, tangible gifts, or words of affirmation.

However, effective recognition goes far beyond a simple “thank you.” To truly engage your team, you’ll need an employee recognition program that clearly establishes the strategies you’ll employ.

How to Create a Culture of Recognition

Recognition is at the heart of a positive workplace culture, meaning you’ll need to implement well-planned recognition strategies to make a big difference for your team. One way to streamline this process is by investing in the right tools. Technology can make it easier to track employee engagement and standardize recognition activities.

Third party engagement software can be a great tool for sending creative eCard messages of recognition to employees. Your company can create customized templates to match your branding and values. Then, you can personalize each card before sending it so that employees feel individually valued. Plus, you’ll be able to track when eCards are opened and how many have been sent so that you have a comprehensive view of how often employees are being recognized.

However, that’s not the only way you can cultivate a culture of recognition. This employee appreciation guide recommends the following strategies for properly recognizing employees:

  • Employee of the Month: Designate a top-performing employee each month, and highlight their accomplishments for the whole team to see. Consider giving the employee of the month a certificate, trophy, or gift to commemorate the achievement.
  • Social Media Shoutout: Spotlight your hard-working employees in social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another platform where you have a significant following. This effort shows both employees and your social media followers that you value your staff, boosting team morale and your company’s reputation simultaneously.
  • Wall of Fame: Make recognition more permanent by rewarding employees with plaques based on work-related achievements or tenure with the company. If you need to make this idea digital, display these achievements on a TV in your office space along with headshots of the highlighted employees.
  • Awards Ceremony: Host a recognition event to highlight both individual and team accomplishments. Plan food, drinks, and entertainment to make the event more exciting. Take the time to thank all employees for their hard work. Then, reinforce your company values as you call out those who have gone above and beyond. Consider inviting employees’ family members, interested community members, and clients or customers to bring the whole community together.
  • Milestone Celebrations: Show employees that you care about them as individuals by celebrating personal milestones, such as birthdays, weddings, or other big life celebrations. And, you can encourage recognition among peers by having employees plan events for each other.
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition: For dedicated peer-to-peer recognition efforts, allow colleagues to call out each others’ contributions to the overall success of the team through the use of engagement software solutions that can be integrated into your corporate wellness platform.

Benefits of Employee Recognition

Once you plan and execute meaningful recognition strategies, your team will start to reap the benefits. Statistics show that employees who feel properly recognized by employers become more:

  • Productive: 77% of employees report that having a positive work culture empowers them to do their best work.
  • Loyal: Engaged businesses achieve 59% less turnover, and employees at such companies are less likely to look for employment elsewhere.
  • Present: When employees are highly engaged, absenteeism decreases by 41%, meaning workers are more likely to show up and enhance overall business performance.

At the end of the day, the well-being of your employees should be a top priority simply because they’re human beings—and the backbone of your business. However, knowing that proper recognition has the potential to positively impact both your team and your company’s success makes the venture all the more worthwhile.

Remember to take your recognition efforts outside of the office by also encouraging a healthy work-life balance for your employees. For example, you might offer generous paid time off (PTO) or the ability to work from home when needed. Ultimately, you should keep the workplace positive but support employees’ personal lives, too.

As you enhance engagement, employees will become increasingly more productive and motivated to make your business a success, which is essential since they’re the ones who keep your business running!

Have questions about how wellness technology can support your employee engagement strategies? Talk to one of our technology specialists today!

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