How to Convince Employee Recognition Sceptics


Sponsored content by Applauz, because they feel their products and services are a great fit with Engagement Trends’ philosophies… and we agree.

Most of us want to work for a company that understands the importance of employee engagement and invests in employee recognition and rewards. If you already work for a company like that, you can consider yourself lucky, because to this day, many leaders and managers are still failing to recognize the importance of ensuring that workers feel appreciated for the work they put in.

Some employers may even disagree with the idea of employee recognition itself. But what happens when managers are employee recognition sceptics? Workers slowly but surely lose the motivation to put in the extra effort and often transform into uninspired employees. Can we blame them?

When organizations and leaders don’t buy into the concept of employee recognition, the whole workforce is affected, and the company’s bottom line is at risk. Frequent recognition builds meaning and purpose for employees. In fact, the more people are recognized and rewarded for their hard work and positive behaviour, the more they feel like their job has meaning and purpose for them.

Values-based recognition helps bring core values to life.

Employees at companies with a recognition program are more likely to respect and believe in their company’s core values compared to workers at companies with recognition efforts that are not tied to core values. What’s more, many employees at companies with no formal recognition program are not even aware of their organization’s core values, much less work by them.

More leaders should be aware of the powerful impact employee engagement has on their organization.  Many different studies are coming to the same conclusion: engagement is linked to recognition and both are paramount for any organization to succeed.

For the stats lovers out there, it’s possible to consult countless studies on the effects of employee recognition on human resources and a company’s bottom line results.  The numbers are convincing and would likely sway even the most ardent sceptic.

For example, did you know that:

With no drive to work hard, employees simply plod through their work – unfocused and unmotivated – they get little done each day.

In fact, disengaged employees are less productiveThese are just a few examples. But despite these findings, leaders can remain sceptical of the benefits of employee recognition. Here are different examples of the most common objections you probably already heard from a boss or might believe yourself:

Engagement is just a trendy buzzword tied to no real facts”

Employee engagement is a popular term amongst business leaders and HR circles. It’s everywhere and everyone has their own theory about the best ways to engage a workforce. But there’s a good reason for that: employee engagement and recognition do have an incredible potential to change things for the better.  In fact, people mostly agree with the idea that a paycheck is simply not enough to keep them satisfied with their job.

“Engagement is going to be expensive”

Disengaged staff who only see their job as a paycheck are notoriously difficult to inspire to positive, proactive action, and every employer understands how extraordinarily expensive it is to onboard new employees. Negative attrition, the rate at which good employees leave a business, can cost the organization thousands upon thousands of dollars each year.  That’s to say, constantly having to hire, train and invest in new talent to only have them leave shortly after they become productive. This phenomenon puts the future success of a company into question.

Too often, employee engagement programs that are based on recognition and rewards are seen as too expensive, since most solutions on the market today were initially designed for bigger corporations with deep pockets. So, yes, employee engagement programs are traditionally cost-prohibitive for most small-to-medium-sized businesses. However, the assumption that no affordable recognition solution exists for smaller businesses is patently false in 2017.  The recognition industry is evolving and some solutions are actually now offered at extremely reasonable prices.

“Employee engagement cannot be measured”

It’s true that many companies fail at planning and executing their recognition program and as a consequence, they feel like there is no impact on employee engagement. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a failure of execution rather than a failure of concept. Employee engagement programs that incorporate a modern recognition and rewards component can actually be effectively measured and many great tools now exist to help businesses measure the impact of their employee engagement initiative.

A modern Employee Recognition software can provide valuable employee insights, by way of a comprehensive reporting system. These metrics help employers ensure that their efforts, time and money are well spent. 

“I’m paying workers enough money. They owe me engaged work.”

It turns out that money cannot buy loyalty, so it stands to reason that it then certainly cannot buy engagement. Of course, paying your employees a fair wage is essential. However, a paycheck will be earned anywhere they choose to work. Although money can motivate someone to take a job, it was never, ever, proven to motivate them to stay happy at their job.

Additionally, the money your employee earns is hardly any different than the offer they would likely receive from your competitors so if you believe that it’s all about the cash, then there’s a real problem – your employees are easily poachable.  As soon as a recruiter is willing, or able, to offer a few more bucks than you are, you can likely say “buh-bye” to your most valuable staffers.

Company culture, however, works differently.

The culture of recognition drives employee engagement. To put it simply, engagement is the level of emotional investment an individual has in their organization. When your employees are highly engaged, they become vital parts of your business’s success. It’s the leadership’s responsibility to provide an extraordinary work culture and environment.

According to a Leigh Branham’s Center for Association Leadership article, 89% of managers think that their employees leave for higher salaries when they actually leave for reasons other than money (up to 90% say so).

These are just a few of the reasons why leaders should be working on improving employee engagement in their company. Looking at the facts and figures, it would be hard for a non-believer not to change views and ultimately accept employee engagement as a vital business goal.


Most companies struggle with employee engagement, but only large corporations can afford the solutions that are currently available. 

APPLAUZ is an employee engagement software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides SMBs with a tool to fix their engagement problem and become great at recognizing, rewarding, and retaining their employees.

Find out HOW APPLAUZ can help you with engaging and retaining your employees.


What is the current situation in your company? Do you feel like leaders are doing the best they can to make workers feel appreciated and retain their talents?

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