Keeping employees engaged is an excellent way to ensure that they are both satisfied by their role within the organization and also loyal to it, which in turn will make them more productive and efficient.
Recognition: The Key to Employee Engagement
There are a number of strategies that can help boost employee engagement, although not all of these are created equal. In fact, the single most powerful force in this context is ensuring that team members feel like their achievements are being recognized.
So what is it about the recognition that makes it so impactful, and how can you go about increasing its frequency in your own business?
Understanding employee morale
While a worker’s salary is the main form of compensation that they receive in return for their efforts, humans are emotion-driven animals, so unless individuals also feel that the contributions they make to the business are appreciated on more than a transactional level, they could feel despondent and disconnected from their daily duties.
Conversely, if you make sure that recognition is given frequently, consistently and fairly across the entire organization, the morale of teams will blossom, as everyone who is pulling their weight will know that they are doing so conspicuously.
Employee recognition and job satisfaction are thus inextricably linked. Meanwhile, the link between higher pay and happiness has been largely debunked, so ramping up salaries will only get you so far, and a lot more ground can be gained through recognizing the input of staff.
The value of formalizing recognition
Knowing that employees respond positively to praise is all well and good, but unless you make sure that you approach this in a structured, cohesive way, you will not be able to follow through on your good intentions.
Rather than simply expecting managers to remember to congratulate their teams on the milestones they pass or the individual goals they meet, it is better to formalize this process as much as possible so that no one is overlooked. This is why many businesses are recognizing employees by using apps for rewarding them.
Employee recognition platforms are attractive for a number of reasons, aside from their innate ability to give you the framework for providing praise and feedback that overcomes a lot of the ambiguities involved in handling all of this manually.
The top services offer integration with popular instant messaging and collaboration solutions, for example, so that it is easy not only for managers to publically pinpoint the successes of employees but also for colleagues to do the same for one another. You can even have the option of implementing gamified elements, such as a leaderboard system based on points earned for progress made, which incentivizes performance and increases engagement even further.
Another advantage of formalizing employee recognition in this way is that it will give you insights into the dynamics of teams which might be obscured in normal circumstances. You can see which members are collaborating most closely and effectively, and also identify individuals that may be struggling to make their mark at the moment, and could thus be in need of additional support at a managerial level.
The importance of the personal touch
At its most basic level, employee recognition is about demonstrating that you are invested in the performance of the people working for your organization. Doing so publically is obviously a necessary part of this, but this is not always appropriate or desirable, depending on the nature of the achievement and the personality of the individual in question.
Enhancing engagement can therefore also be attained by offering recognition on a one-on-one basis. This is easier if you are directly involved with managing individual team members, and is as simple as thanking them for their work whenever you have catch-ups face to face or via video call.
In much larger teams, this may be harder to encompass when the potential pool of employees stretches into the hundreds. But whatever the case, you should not rely solely on centralized recognition solutions to keep up morale and provide deserved praise to employees.
Forging a supportive company culture
The overarching aim of your push to promote the idea of employee recognition within your business could ultimately be to reshape the entire company culture with this at its core.
This is not just about boosting job satisfaction and engagement, but ultimately leveraging this to ensure that retention rates are high. Since recruitment is costly, it is cheaper to do your best to keep existing talent onboard, and once again recognition is the best weapon in your arsenal in this instance.
Once it is up and running, a culture of recognition and support should become self-perpetuating, and could also help to eradicate all sorts of other issues, including colleague conflicts.
Whether you are just starting a business or are already an established entrepreneur, the TL;DR is that recognition makes employees feel valued, and is beneficial for the business as well.