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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWorkplace EngagementAre You As Good at Employee Recognition as You Think You Are? (Probably Not, According to the Stats!)

Are You As Good at Employee Recognition as You Think You Are? (Probably Not, According to the Stats!)


Employers and employees have different perceptions of how well work is appreciated and recognized in their workplaces. Unfortunately, employees are typically less impressed with employee recognition efforts than managers think they are!

A recent Profit Guide article brings to light a new study about employee recognition, where 30% of employees gave their companies low marks for achievement appreciation. Contrast that with the 89% of senior managers who thought their organization was good at recognizing employees, and you’ll see the crux of the problem.

Articles such as this continue to put out a message that companies need to take more time to recognize employees.

In our employee engagement surveys, recognition is almost always one of the bottom ranked items in the survey. Why?

Does it take a lot of time? No. 

Is it hard to do? Not really. 

When I chat with CEOs about this, they often comment that they know this is important but they simply neglect to take the time to do it.

Employee RecognitionIsn’t That Why You Pay Them?

I also had one CFO who was a real tough nut to crack. Her comment to me was “You mean I need to take the time to thank people for doing their job? Isn’t that what I pay them for?

Well, yes and no.

You pay them for doing their work. When you take the time to offer praise for a job well done, you are working on engaging the employee, establishing rapport, showing them you care.  In other words, you are managing for better performance.

In order to make the case to Ms. Hard-Nut-To-Crack, I asked her to try this exercise at home:

For the next 30 days, make it a point to never compliment members of your family for doing good things. Instead, focus on the things they do wrong. Why didn’t you clean your room? What is this D on your report card? How could you have forgotten to make the maintenance appointment for the car? And so on.

Now, in 30 days, come back and tell me how that is working for you.

Take the Time to Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts

Taking the time to offer praise is simple.

First of all, make it a priority to catch people doing great things.

Secondly, make sure the praise is timely, specific, and sincere. A “great job” doesn’t cut it. Let them know what they did, how it impacted performance or the client, and let them know that you sincerely appreciate all their good work. 

You will be amazed at how this will change the working environment!

Now that didn’t hurt did it?

>> Our employee engagement surveys will help you understand how well you’re currently engaging employees. We’ll work with you to make organization-wide improvements. Get a complimentary 30 minute consultation.

Start engaging employees right away with my FREE cheatsheet for Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 Minutes!

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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