“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards”- Dale Carnegie
These words by Dale Carnegie reflect the truth. If you aspire to cultivate an engaged workforce, which goes every extra mile for your organization, you have to go the extra mile in recognizing your employees.
You have to recognize them for who they are, what they do, and how they do it. This is because ‘recognition’ is a magical potion that provides nearly everything which is needed for employee engagement to bloom in the office or organization.
The more you recognize your employees, the more you take them closer to engagement. Moreover, recognition is one of those employee engagement strategies which works on an inner level.
As you recognize your employees, they feel good and become more inclined towards you and your organization. This way, it changes your employees inwardly and makes them more engaged in work.
Although there are many other ways to cultivate an engaged workforce, none is as versatile as recognition. It offers multifarious benefits, each of which helps you pave closer to employee engagement.
Now, let us discuss the benefits of recognition one by one. This discussion will help you understand why recognition is vital for employee engagement. No doubt, you can choose your employee engagement strategies, but you should always include ‘recognition’ in the list.
1. Recognition makes the employees feel valued
The most important thing which your employees need to become engaged is the feeling of being valued. Recognition exactly provides the same to them.
When you recognize your employees, they feel valued for the contributions they make towards your organization’s success. They feel that their efforts are not going in vain and you are aware of the hard work they put in.
Along with this, recognition also makes your employees feel that your organization needs them. This gives meaning to their work and makes them feel good about themselves. They find this feeling so alluring that they crave to get the same feeling over and over again.
So, they start directing their efforts towards improving their performance and try to gain more recognition from you. They become more productive, devise innovative solutions for competitive advantage, and also work with perfection. Thus, recognition is a masterstroke for employee engagement.
2. Recognition enhances employee happiness
Employee happiness and employee engagement are intertwined. Engaged employees are happier and happier employees are better engaged at work. This is simply because happy employees are energetic, enthusiastic, and bubble up with the spirit to do good.
Moreover, happy employees radiate their happiness and make the office environment positive. They do not lose their energy to negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and gloominess.
So, to enhance employee engagement, you have to pave closer to employee happiness and recognition helps you with the same. When you recognize your employees, they feel happy.
The simple reason for their happiness is that recognition makes them feel important. Along with this, it also gives a boost to their self-esteem which is again a cause of immense happiness. This way, recognition gives a boost to employee happiness, which in turn leads to employee engagement.
So, you should establish a culture of recognition in your organization. Not only should you recognize your employees, but your employees should also recognize each other for the good work done.
3. Recognition motivates your employees to self-improve
Employee engagement happens when your employees are ready to become their best selves from within. This implies that your efforts to engage your employees start becoming successful when they feel motivated to self-improve.
Recognition does that exactly. It motivates your employees to self-improve.
If you wonder how? Let me help you with it. When you extend recognition to your employees, they feel immense joy within. They feel that they are on cloud nine. This happiness is addictive. So, as soon as the effect of your recognition goes away and their happiness vanishes, they start craving to get the same happiness again.
In their endeavor to get it again, they start their journey of self-improvement. They begin upgrading their skills, become more efficient, and work with excellence. This way, recognition motivates your employees to self-improve, which is the basic requirement for them to become engaged.
So, you should keep looking for different reasons to recognize your employees. These can be as simple as being punctual in coming to the office and helping a coworker. Further, extending public recognition is more beneficial than extending private recognition to your employees.
This is because public recognition motivates all your employees, including the one receiving appreciation and the witnesses alike. When your employees see their colleagues getting recognized, they wish to become recognized too. As a result, they also start self-improving, which ultimately leads them to engage.
4. Recognition reduces employee burnout
Employee burnout is one of the biggest enemies of employee engagement. It makes your employees drained of all their energy, saps away their enthusiasm to work, and eats away their motivation.
Not only this, it exposes them to a number of health problems such as heart diseases, migraine, and digestive problems. As a result, they start becoming worried about their health and cannot focus well on work.
So, they become disengaged rather than becoming engaged. Their productivity sinks to the lowest, they remain frustrated, leading to a negative work environment and pose a high risk of turnover.
But, if your employees receive regular recognition from you, their burnout gets relieved. This is because recognition makes your employees happy which is one of the biggest remedies for burnout relief.
So, recognition is instrumental in reducing employee burnout which is one of the major hindrances to employee engagement.
Further, it is not necessary to utilize rewards to recognize your employees. Even a few words of recognition from you are enough to do the needful.
So, we can also say that recognition is one such driver of employee engagement that doesn’t involve monetary investments. This is another good thing that makes recognition an alluring strategy for employee engagement.
5. Recognition increases employee engagement and morale
Employee morale is the extent of emotional commitment, intrinsic motivation, and dedication, employees have towards their organization.
High employee morale is extremely instrumental in employee engagement and recognition is the best way to increase employee morale. This is simply because the more you recognize your employees, the more intrinsically motivated they become to give their best at work.
Further, as they become motivated, their dedication towards your organization also increases. As a result, their goal not only remains limited to earning their salary. Instead, ensuring your organization’s success becomes a major part of their goal. This way, recognition enhances employee dedication and unlocks the gateways of employee engagement.
An engaged workforce is always a joy to have. It is ever ready to go every extra mile for your organization’s success. Although there are plenty of strategies that you can follow to engage your employees, recognition is not to be skipped. This is because it individually offers tremendous benefits as discussed above, which are instrumental in cultivating an engaged workforce.
So, you should always recognize your employees for every little effort they make. Whether it is their punctuality which catches your attention or their helpful demeanor, do express your appreciation for it.
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Being an educational writer at ‘The Speaking Polymath’ Jessica Robinson puts her dedicated efforts to bring into notice every subject which affects the lives of her readers. She is so enthusiastic about it that she spends days into research before penning her thoughts down. Further, her extraordinary work itself speaks volumes about her love for writing.