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Four Steps to Positive Employee Recognition

Melissa Fisher

Melissa Fisher is a startupologist who works with companies as an interim CEO, COO or CMO during expansion phase growth. Today she serves as managing partner at Peak Road Partners, an elite network of C-level executives that help companies reach peak performance and profitably by providing interim executive placements and consulting.

Employee pride doesn’t start with a formal employee recognition program, it starts with you. Here are 4 easy steps to begin to improve your skills.

  1. Make a list of all the important groups of people in your work life.
  2. Write down the name of every important person in each group.
  3. Twice a week, review the list of names and ask, “Did someone on this page do something that I should recognize?”
  4. If the answer is yes, give quick recognition, either by phone, e-mail, voice mail or a note. If the answer is no, do nothing.

Within a year, your reputation for providing positive recognition can improve from poor to excellent.

A Baker’s Dozen of Facts and Stats to Consider…

Looking for some great statistics that illustrate the power of recognizing others? Here are a few that Darcy Jacobson gathered which might come in handy for you too.

  1. “Nearly 75% of organizations have a recognition program (despite the fact that only 58% of employees think that their organizations have recognition programs).” (Bersin by Deloitte, The State of Employee Recognition, 2012)
  2. Career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers. (Aon Hewitt, 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement)
  3. “The number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. In fact, 65% of people surveyed said they got no recognition for good work last year” (Gallup, Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, 2001)
  4. “Organizations with recognition programs which are highly effective at enabling employee engagement had 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs.” (Bersin by Deloitte, The State of Employee Recognition, 2012)
  5. “60% of Best-in-Class organizations stated that employee recognition is extremely valuable in driving individual performance.” (Aberdeen Group, The Power of Employee Recognition, 2013)
  6. 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen marked positive increases in customer satisfaction. (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
  7. Companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention at companies without any recognition program. (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
  8. In these environments, [where opportunity and well-being are part of the culture) strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance increases engagement by almost 60%. (Towers Watson, Turbocharging Employee Engagement: The Power of Recognition From Managers)
  9.  Peer-to-peer is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.   (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
  10. Praise and commendation from managers was rated the top motivator for performance, beating out other noncash and financial incentives, by a majority of workers (67%) (McKinsey Motivating People, Getting Beyond Money)
  11. When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement.  (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
  12. Recognition is an important psychological need. Employees who know that they will receive recognition for acting on the brand promise will have a strong incentive to do so. (Gallup, 2013 State of the American Workplace)
  13. When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “Give recognition.” (Psychometrics, A Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace 2010)
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