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Key Employee Engagement Strategy:
Give Employees  Recognition, Consistently

Give employees recognition consistently and you'll be less likely to be struggling with turnover and productivity problems. And, you won't get comments like this from a real employee opinion survey I conducted years ago,

“My manager does not give much recognition or many pats on the back.
Outside of my compensation (which I appreciate very much) I've not heard one
"Thank You" or "Good Job"  from my  manager in months.  Sometimes I wonder,
and I'm not the only, if he cares about what I do.  I don't want to sound  needy or
anything, but a pat on the back every once in awhile would go along way
toward making things better."

This employee seemed hesitant to even say how important feedback was to him, but thank goodness he did.  Because he's not alone.  In over four million employee interviews Gallup determined that the teams with much higher productivity and customer service scores, and less turnover, rated these statements as true:

  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

Their research also reveals that 70% of US workers are NOT engaged and/or committed to their work!  WOW - 7 out of 10 employees are not fully there  -  on the job. 

Four Reasons Why You Don't Give Employees Recognition Consistently...

Isn't it amazing that more commitment and less turnover can start with something so simple as recognition every week and a supervisor who cares?  

It IS amazing and seems doable, BUT it's not happening.

Year after year Gallup surveys say the same thing - large numbers of employees are not committed to their company and/or their work.  And opinion surveys come back - time after time - ranking recognition and feedback as lacking.

From my view there are four reasons why you do not give employees recognition consistently:

  • 1) YOU'RE BUSY: You get so busy that you forget (or run out of time) to do the 'little' things like recognition and showing that you care.
  • 2) YOU'RE RESERVED: You might be little reserved in your personality style so you THINK about recognition but you never get around to actually SAYING it out loud.
  • 3) YOU'RE A CRITIQUE-R:  You're analytical and quality-focused, so much so that you (without even realizing you're doing it) talk about what's not working, more than what is working.
  • 4) YOUR BELIEF:  You have a misguided notion and belief that too much recognition will make people "too confident and lazy."  You may think that their pay IS their recognition.

Whatever the reason there's too much research available, about how absolutely important feelings of personal accomplishment and recognition for achievement is to performance, that you cannot logically ignore the power of employee recognition. That is IF you want high performance, low turnover and a thriving team and company!  And I know you do!

Actions to Help You Give Employees Recognition Consistently...

Here are simple actions and tools that will help you begin to give employees recognition consistently and reap the benefits of employee engagement and commitment:

  • SIMPLE ACTION: Put three pennies on your desk or in your pocket as a reminder to give employees recognition three times every day.  Each time you appreciate and/or value someone's performance - move a penny to the other pocket or into your desk drawer. Start again every morning...
  • SURVEY:  Use the steps in this article The 12 Best Employee Engagement Survey Questions...  to get feedback.  (Warning!! DON'T do this unless you are committed to following up and doing something about the feedback you receive - or things will get worse!)
  • START YOUR OWN EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION PROGRAM:  It's simple - put three pennies on your desk or in your pocket as reminder to give specific appreciation to three different people that day.  Do this every day. (Remember, small efforts add up.)
  • INSPIRATION: Are you still trying to decide whether you even want to give employees more recognition?  Here's a powerful TED talk by former Kansas City Royals Pitcher Mike Robbins about the power of appreciation that will probably inspire you.

What about you?  Do give employees recognition consistently?  If yes, please share your tips in the comments below.  If no, what do you think - are you willing to try it and see what happens? Share your comments, below.

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