Does Your Business Need an Employee Recognition Program?

Imagine if you worked hard for some time on a project at work, and did a great job, and no one noticed or acknowledged it, much less congratulated you on the quality of your work. Maybe you’d begin to doubt yourself. Maybe you’d be resentful. Either way, your level of engagement drops as you lose the motivation to continue performing to your full potential.

That’s what happens to your employees when they don’t get recognition for their accomplishments, and it’s why you need to take employee recognition seriously if you’re running a business. A program that consistently recognizes your most productive, hard-working, loyal, and reliable employees will increase morale across the board, boost productivity, increase sales, and make employees happier. Here’s why you need to make employee recognition a regular thing at your organization.

Boost Engagement and Productivity

Recognition is among the most powerful drivers of engagement in the workplace. Whether someone went out of their way to help a customer, stayed late to meet a tight deadline, or did a great job on an important presentation, they want to hear that their work has been appreciated. Knowing that their good work will be recognized motivates employees to do a better job.

And engaged employees do perform better than demotivated, disconnected employees. According to Gallup, they’re 41 percent less likely to call off work and 17 percent more productive. Recognition from peers can also increase productivity by as much as 50 percent, so choose from employee recognition programs that encourage peer recognition. Peer recognition strengthens relationships in the workplace, and builds a sense of trust between coworkers that can help them work together more efficiently.

If you really want to improve productivity and boost morale across the board, be sure to have performance conversations that put each employee’s output in terms of how it fits into the company’s overarching goals. Employees appreciate knowing how their efforts contribute to the whole, and it shows that you’re paying attention to what they do and notice how well they’re doing it.

Make Employees Happier

Employee recognition programs are no substitute for mental health care, but they can play a role in making employees feel happier. Perhaps it’s because recognition programs, especially those that include a peer recognition component, do foster that sense of connection with teammates and supervisors. Human beings need to connect with one another to be happy and healthy. Connecting with others at work can relieve anxiety and depression and help regulate emotions.

Recognition at work can also make employees happier. Having your achievements recognized confirms that you’re doing a good job, and can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Seventy percent of employees say that employee recognition programs help them feel connected to their peers. The happy feelings you get from recognition at work can carry over into your home life – 70 percent of those surveyed said they felt happier at home when getting recognition at work.

Close More Sales

It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making, you could always make a little more, right? And that’s why you want an employee recognition program to increase the profitability of your sales team. Sales reps who are engaged and motivated will hit and exceed sales targets and help your company grow.

More sales may well equal more income for your salespeople, but money isn’t always someone’s primary motivator. Maybe they want to do better than they did last quarter, or maybe they want to approach or exceed the performance level of another employee who gets better results. You can use recognition for high sales numbers as an effective incentive for salespeople who might not be motivated by money alone. If you want to foster some competition between your sales staff, you can recognize your top sellers with a leaderboard that gets updated with each day’s sales. Competing with trusted peers for rewards can bring an element of fun into the workplace.

Employee recognition doesn’t have to always mean elaborate awards and public praise. It can also take the form of casual one-on-one talks, or even just a brief expression of thanks or a “hey, great job!” Recognition also has a place in conversations about performance. Encourage employees to recognize their peers’ good work verbally or with simple gestures.

If your business doesn’t yet have an employee recognition program, it’s time to implement one. You’ll boost morale and keep employees more engaged with their work, and that can help your business continue to grow.

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