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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 one, 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. 

MORE RESEARCH:

  • Managers who focus on and manage by strengths are 86% more successful, than managers who are not.
  • Positive feedback has been proven to motivate and positively drive performance. “Feelings of personal accomplishment” and “ recognition for achievement” were revealed as top actions to improve motivation by respected researcher Frederick Herzberg and were shared in a classic 1968 Harvard Business Review article titled, "One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?"
  • Your Gen Y - Millennial employees, folks who are in their 20's and 30's, want and NEED regular feedback. They thrive when they receive regular feedback and they leave when they don't!
  • Four MILLION employees (10,000+ business units, in 30 different industries) were interviewed.  This research revealed that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise: 
                     - increase their productivity,
                     - are more likely to stay with an organization,
                     - receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers,
                     - have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.
Don't Be This Guy!

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 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. You may intend to appreciate and recognize employees, but day-to-day demands can divide your focus. And, before you know it, six months or more can go by without any recognition of good performance. 
  • 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. (Re-read my summary of the research to realize how "Your pay is your recognition" belief may be hurting your own and your company's success and profitability.)

Whatever the reason there's too much information 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!

"Catch your employees doing something right."
Ken Blanchard, One Minute Manager

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... (Remember, small efforts add up 1% a day and in 70 days, you're twice improved.)
  • 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 - make it your goal to create a 3 to 1 ratio with every person on your team, that is THREE  "you did this right, you are a good person, etc." to every ONE "correct this".  
  • 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

Ongoing feedback and recognition matters to your bottom line, to your success and to the performance of every employee on your team.

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.

Share Your Comments and Tips, Here...

Do you have a thoughts and tips about employee recogntion? Share it!




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