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How to be a Great Boss 101: Employee Recognition

How to be a Great Boss 101: Employee Recognition

The Thanksgiving season has us all reflecting on the things for which we are grateful: sunny days, football games, apple pie. However, November 24th isn’t the only time we should take to express our gratitude. As an employer, it’s always the time to reflect on a kind of gratitude that is often overlooked, but is of vital importance to the success of your company: employee recognition.

An HBR article called employee recognition “the easiest thing you can do to be a great boss.” It is true that recognizing your employees for their hard work, success, dedication, or longevity is a simple effort that yields big results. Let’s take a look at just a few.

Stronger Employee Loyalty

Unemployment rates are lower than they’ve been in over a decade. More than ever before, there’s increased competition to recruit and retain top employees. In such a competitive market, employees can afford to find a company where they are needed, appreciated, and recognized.

A 2014 survey of over 2,400 employees suggests a strong correlation between employee recognition and employee loyalty. 87% of employees who reported that their company has strong recognition practices said that they felt a strong relationship with their direct manager, as opposed to 51% among those who reported little or no recognition practices at their company. Taking time to recognize employees for their accomplishments can increase their loyalty to their managers and your company as a whole.

We’ve all been on the other side of the equation: nothing is more discouraging than working hard and never getting an ounce of recognition. Boost your employees’ confidence in themselves and in you by giving some positive feedback and recognition. It’ll strengthen relationships and boost loyalty, and you won’t have to worry about those high performers going elsewhere.

Better Business

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant conducted a study at a university call center to show just how powerful showing employees a little bit of appreciation can be. The employees in this case were university students working at a call center, where they made outbound calls to alumni and others to raise money for university scholarships. Call center work can be emotionally taxing: the rejection rate was 93%. Revenue was low, morale was low, and the employees’ manager didn’t see much hope. He had tried all kinds of incentives to get his employees to increase their effectiveness: cash prizes, competitive games, etc. None had worked.

Grant proposed a different kind of incentive. He brought in a student who had benefited from a scholarship funded by those call center fundraisers. On a short ten-minute break from the monotony of the calls, the student talked to the employees about how that scholarship had changed his life and allowed him to graduate from the university. He was on his way to be a teacher for Teach for America and attributed his success to the scholarship he received.

The results of this simple, ten-minute expression of gratitude were astounding. One month later, though the employees were still using the same script as before and hadn’t changed anything else, they were spending 142% more time on the phone, and were bringing in 171% more revenue. Simply recognizing the impact these employees were having changed everything.

Employees need and deserve to be recognized for the good that they do. A study by Tiny Pulse reported that feeling encouraged and recognized was among the top ten factors for motivating employee performance. Motivated employees are high performing employees, and high performing employees can be over 400% more productive than average employees. This has the potential to increase revenue and better your business.

Happier Employees

A study by the O.C. Tanner Company in 2015 expands on the phenomenon discovered in the Adam Grant study, and suggests that employee recognition can result in happier employees. When asked about job satisfaction, 70% of employees who reported receiving some form of appreciation from their supervisors responded that they are happy with their jobs. However, only 39% of employees who didn’t receive similar recognition said they were satisfied.

What does this mean for your company? Implementing an employee recognition program or even simply thanking an employee for a job well done, recognizing a hard-working team during a staff meeting, or giving specific praise or positive feedback after a big project can increase your revenues, increase employee satisfaction and retention, and foster a positive culture at your company. Take the necessary time this Thanksgiving season and all throughout the year to adequately thank and recognize the work your employees do. You’ll be thanking yourself that you did.

Questions on how you can implement better employee recognition and increase employee engagement? Contact one of our expert HR representatives at (888) 407-1032 and we’ll help you get on the road to smarter HR.Contact Us | Zamp HR