The word “employee recognition” is often used in the workplace, yet both employees and management frequently misunderstood it. 

Employee Recognition, in a nutshell, is acknowledging and rewarding an employee’s or team’s efforts, accomplishments, and contributions when they represent your organization’s values, mission, or goals.

While there are many different types of recognition, the most successful form of recognition comes when an organization takes a holistic approach, which requires companies to express their gratitude to their employees through different settings.

But why is employee recognition so critical to the success of your business? 

Why Employee Recognition Matters

Employee recognition is essential for any business, whether it sells hot dogs or hedge funds. And, according to several troubling statistics, showing your gratitude to your employees is most crucial now than ever. 

Below are some of the reasons why.

Employee recognition increases retention and decreases turnover.

Employee retention is at an all-time low, which contributes to the urgency of recognizing your employees. Industries across the country are grappling with high turnover rates, and some sectors are severely impacted by low levels of employee retention that threatens the survival of the entire business industry. 

Employees leave jobs for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is a lack of appreciation from their bosses. In fact, 66% of employees said they would leave their jobs if they didn’t feel valued. Millennials are even more likely to leave a work that does not appreciate them, with more than 75% stating that they would leave a job that does not make them feel valued. 

Based on history, this is a pattern that will most certainly continue in the following years. Between 2012 and 2017, there was a 50% increase in the number of people who said they would leave their jobs if they felt underappreciated.

Employee recognition is a key component of employee engagement.

Employee recognition has a direct impact on a company’s employee engagement efforts, in addition to improving retention and lowering turnover rates. It is so crucial that Gallup even included it as one of their questions in their Q12 research, which talks about the standard of calculating employee engagement both nationally and globally. 

The participants were asked to respond to a statement about whether they have received recognition or praise for the last seven days for the good work they have done. 

Employees who are frequently praised for their efforts have a positive impact on the bottom line of their companies. Employees who felt underappreciated, on the other hand, were three times as likely to say they plan to leave in the next year. And if they do stay, you may expect a dramatic drop in the quality of their job. If this happens, their dissatisfaction will swiftly spread to other employees and, eventually, the entire company.

The advantages of increased employee engagement

Recognizing employees can boost engagement levels, thus significantly benefiting your organization. Let’s look at Gallup’s ten key metrics from their most recent report on the State of the American Workplace.

Reduced Absenteeism: Regardless of the frequency, absenteeism can undermine any business. But absenteeism rates can drop by as much as 41% when an employee is consistently recognized by employers, and acknowledged by employers, managers, and coworkers alike.

  • Decreased Turnover: As mentioned above, some of America’s most important sectors are being crippled by record-high turnover rates. Thankfully, help is available. Through company recognition and engagement, turnover rates in organizations can be reduced by around 24% to 60%. 
  • Less Shrinkage: When employees feel that they are respected and that their work is recognized, they’d want to protect the company’s interests. This reduces the likelihood of stealing, and they will also try to prevent others from doing so. As a result, companies with high levels of involvement have 28% less shrinkage than those with low employee engagement levels.
  • Lower Safety Incidents: Higher employee recognition can result in a significant reduction in safety incidents in any industry. This is because employees who feel valued are concerned not just about their safety, but also about the safety of their coworkers! As a result, firms with high levels of engagement experience 70% lesser safety incidents. 
  • Fewer Patient Safety Incidents: Even the safety of non-employees improves with higher employee recognition, especially in the healthcare industry, where highly engaged teams have 58 percent fewer incidents involving patient safety.
  • Better Quality: Employees who are recognized and engaged produce much higher-quality products, resulting in an average of 40% lesser defects for their companies.
  • Increased Productivity: When companies effectively engage and recognize their employees, productivity can skyrocket by over 17%.
  • More Sales: Customers will notice when your employees are acknowledged for their hard work. As a result, your sales could rise by 20%.
  • Better Customer Relationship: Aside from higher sales, employee recognition and engagement can also affect your customer relationship experience by increasing it to 10%.
  • Profitability: Overall, recognizing employees as part of an employee engagement strategy, can increase business profitability to as much as 21%.

How to Improve Employee Recognition and Show Your Appreciation 

The approaches listed below can help maximize the effectiveness of your employee recognition strategies while also making it easy for your company to acknowledge and appreciate all the members of your organization. 

Praise Publicly

It’s one thing to know you did a fantastic job; it’s another to hear it from your boss.  Public recognition is an excellent approach to motivate and inspire individuals while also recognizing specific team members who did a good job. Employee recognition can be done through email blasts, company newsletters, or announcements during meetings. The best part: they’re completely free!

Offer fun projects or opportunities for professional/personal development

There will always be projects that everyone wants to work on, but not everyone will be able to do so. If you can’t decide who should get these fun projects, try giving them out as recognition. Additionally, if a hardworking employee wishes to gain a new professional skill or pursue an interest, consider financing their continuing education class or sending them to training.

Take them out to lunch

Everyone loves a free lunch. You’ll not only be showing them you care, but you’ll also be giving them more attention they don’t usually get—a great opportunity to get to know them a little better. You can also bring lunch to your employees through catering services to show them how much you value their efforts.

Distribute non-cash rewards

Do you want to acknowledge the efforts of an employee who worked additional hours to meet a tight deadline? Giving monetary incentives is not the only way to say thank you. Instead, consider buying them a coffee shop gift card, movie tickets, or other presents that they will enjoy while showing them how much you appreciate their efforts.

As a concrete reminder of their accomplishments, reward your hardworking employees with a physical prize, such as customized trophies or plaques. Trophies not only show off the fruits of their labor but may also be proudly displayed in their homes or offices as inspiration to keep working hard. These expressions of gratitude also demonstrate that you appreciate their efforts and contributions to the company. It’s a thoughtful and enjoyable reward!

Loosen up a bit

Another way to recognize your employees for doing a great job is to loosen up the reins a bit. Schedule a casual dress day, or go a step further and offer some flexible work options, like allowing employees to work outside or from home for a period. If someone has made extra contributions, allow them to leave the office a few hours early. This gesture will be highly appreciated, especially during the summer months.

Organize a contest, a party, or a potluck

Appreciation isn’t always about giving direct appreciation; it may also be a fun change of pace. Consider holding a competition for baking or chili-making for your employees to demonstrate their hidden abilities. You can also allow them to bring their pets to work for a day (as long as they’re allowed in the building). There are also endless options for team-based activities, so get creative.

Encourage recognition among team members

It feels great when a boss or executive gives you praise, but it’s also heartwarming to hear it from your peers.  Encourage your employees to acknowledge one another’s efforts by involving them in the process. This could be as simple as choosing an employee of the week. Everyone is invested in the process when everyone participates!

Just say thank you!

It’s a simple but effective gesture. Keep in touch with your staff. When they’ve done a good job, compliment them and thank them for their efforts. According to a RewardGetaway poll of 1500 employees, about 75% of employees agree that a simple “thank you” for outstanding work done will boost morale and motivate them.

Be Sincere

Make sure that anything you do to recognize your employees comes from the heart. Recognition only works when it’s genuine, whether it’s for an individual or the entire team. Don’t just give praise for the sake of it; give it to commend an accomplishment, and do so frequently. Employee recognition may just be what your office needs to be happy and more productive.

Best Employee Trophies and Awards in Texas

Give your hardworking employees the recognition they deserve – and a beautiful memento that they will cherish for a lifetime. Hill Country Awards and Trophies’ Employee Recognition Awards are intended to recognize the most significant professional achievements.

Some of the top companies and organizations in Texas use Hill Country Awards and Trophies to recognize the achievements of their hardworking employees. Our plaques can be custom engraved to create beautiful, long-lasting plaques and awards, either for an outstanding employee or a hardworking team. Get in touch with us at +1 512-756-6712 or to know more about our products.