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How to give practical recognition to an employee for work well done

01 Jun, 2020 Employee recognition

Despite the proven benefits arising from employee recognition, one of the mysteries of the workplace is that recognition invariably is done badly, if done at all. Few organizations have well-established and accepted formal or informal employee programs in place. Therefore, employee recognition remains an undervalued management technique.

Employee recognition is the timely, informal or formal acknowledgement of a person’s or team’s behavior, effort or business result that supports the organization’s goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations.

Many studies demonstrate the effectiveness of employee recognition. For instance, the Aon 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement survey, conducted in 1,000 companies employing 8 million people globally, showed rewards and recognition as “the strongest driver of engagement,” and that recognition for contributions (apart from pay and benefits) was the key factor in the rewards and recognition component. Employee engagement is strengthened when they are recognized, and greater engagement leads directly to improved productivity, customer loyalty, sales, and profits at the business unit and organizational level. The diagram below shows the results of the O.C. Tanner and Aon Hewitt Study on Recognition Trends in 2016.

Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. What’s more, employee recognition is free or low cost!

Recognition is also a powerful means of communication; it sends extremely positive signals to the recipient and others who are aware of the recognition act. Employee recognition is therefore a communication technique to be encouraged by public relations practitioners, who can play a key role in influencing management to use recognition as a performance enhancer in the workplace.

What’s the best way to recognize an employee for work well done?

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About the author Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in the eBooks available from cuttingedgepr.com.

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