The Value of an Employee Recognition Program


If you were to ask friends and colleagues to share stories and anecdotes about previous work experiences, like why they left, what was disappointing, and what could have been better, you would probably notice that the complaints would not vary as much as one might expect. Employees who quit their job usually decide to do so because of relational issues. It’s rarely the organization’s mission, products, or services that employees decide to leave, but because of dysfunctional relationships and lack of recognition.

What Employee Engagement IS

Employee engagement is the level of dedication an employee has towards both the company they work for and the job they have been hired to do. We’re not simply talking about the motivations of an individual. It goes much deeper than that. Engagement is when an employee does things that they know will be positive for their colleagues and for the company regardless if these things are part of their mandate.

Employee engagement is not something you can demand. It’s something that should happen naturally when the right recognition systems are in place and are being used properly. It happens as a result of the employee feeling that their goals are intrinsically linked with those of the organization.

What Employee Recognition IS

Every time someone says “thanks”, or “great work!”, what they’re actually doing is providing positive reinforcement. No matter how seemingly insignificant the task being congratulated may have been, it’s important to show that each action is valued as an integral contribution to the organization’s success.

It is important to keep encouraging your staff to do well on a daily basis. The message should always be: “We assess and appreciate your work.”

Ways to Recognize

  • Ensure that employees understand the connection between their respective efforts and the company’s success
  • Listen to what employees have to say about personal matters
  • Listen to what employees have to say about work matters, and encourage creative ideas and solutions
  • Show team members how much their individual contributions to a project are appreciated
  • Encourage peer-to-peer recognition
  • Make sure that each member of their team is included and that there is no preferential treatment or favouritism
  • Saying “Thank you” or “Great job!”
  • Allowing employees to have a certain amount of autonomy thereby giving them the feeling that they are worthy of trust

The Value of Recognizing Employees

Numerous studies have established that people do their best work when they feel connected to the mission of the company they work for and with a team of people that feel the same way.

Employees feel valued when their individual contributions are noticed and recognized. It could be simple as a handshake, a handwritten note, or publicly recognizing them during a meeting.

The intentions behind our actions matter. Providing continual positive feedback is critical to supporting an optimistic workplace environment that has the ability to change and grow as the company does.