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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWorkplace EngagementWhy Should I Take the Time to Recognize Employees: Isn’t That Why I Pay Them?

Why Should I Take the Time to Recognize Employees: Isn’t That Why I Pay Them?


Where do we start with a question like this? 

In almost all employee engagement surveys, the item most likely to be in the bottom three of the ranked items is ‘recognition’. Depending on the survey provider, the actual wording will be slightly different but the intent is the same. 

Are we as leaders doing enough to show our appreciation for work well done? Are we doing it in a way that leaves the recipient with a clear sense of being valued by their boss and the organization?

What continues to amaze me is how many people I meet who think that doing this isn’t necessary. Indeed, I have had the comment “Isn’t that why I pay them?” I have also had people argue that frequency of recognition isn’t that important.

But Recognition IS Important 

I have designed a little test for people who think giving recognition on a very regular basis isn’t important. 

For the next month I want you to adopt the following stance in your home life: When you are at home, never compliment your spouse on how they look, never comment on how nice a meal was, never give your child a pat on the back for a well-played baseball (hockey, basketball, soccer, etc.) game. Instead, focus only on singling out things that need to be done better. 

At the end of the month I want you to tell me how that is working for you…

MEmployee Engagementy point, of course, is that human beings have a basic need to feel appreciated. Taking the time out of our week to single someone out after a meeting, during a meeting, on the assembly line, in the call center, and so on, for having done a great job is part of managing for performance and gaining the respect and trust of employees. 

Failing to do this is not significantly different than the silly test I proposed. What is less obvious is the impact it has. Unlike your spouse or child, employees are less likely to let you know that they are unhappy. 

They will just leave to work elsewhere or possibly worse yet – they may actively disengage … and stay.

>> Our employee engagement surveys provides insight into which leaders and teams in your organization are performing the best … and how to help those who aren’t performing as well. Get in touch with us today!

Need ideas on how to connect with employees? Click here for my FREE cheat sheet: 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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