Recognize Your Employees & Transform Your Workplace
Home 9 Leader's Digest 9 Recognize Your Employees & Transform Your Workplace

by | May 4, 2023 | Leader's Digest

According to recent research by Gallup and workhuman, despite being a fundamental employee need, only one in four worldwide strongly agree they have received recognition for their work in the last week. When organizations move that bar up to six in 10, they stand to gain a 28% improvement in quality and a 31% reduction in absenteeism.  


As a leader, it’s important to prioritize taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate your team’s efforts, which not only strengthens your relationships with your employees but also demonstrates that you value their contributions to the organization’s success.

Leaders must take a human-centered approach to building their employee experience and employer brand. An employer brand is shaped by various factors, such as your organization’s mission, values, culture, work environment, benefits, compensation, growth opportunities, and so on. Having a strong employer brand helps organizations stand out in a crowded job market and attract top talent, and it starts by demonstrating to employees that they are valued by recognizing their contributions.


The research by Gallup and workhuman states:

81% of leaders say recognition is not a major priority for their organization

73% of leaders say their organization does not offer best-practice training for employee recognition

66% of leaders say their organization does not have a budget allocated for recognition

Recognizing your team members’ hard work and contributions is crucial for maintaining high morale, boosting productivity, retaining top talent, and creating a positive work culture. So why aren’t more of us doing it?


The 5 Pillars of Recognition

#1 Fulfilling

Your employees should feel fulfilled by their recognition experience, or you are missing the mark. Feeling valued and validated is a basic human need. The data shows there is no such thing as “too much” recognition as long as it is genuine.


#2 Authentic

Only about a third of employees strongly agree that the recognition they receive is authentic. Recognition becomes more meaningful when it is clear why it is being given. Tell, but also show. Show your team that you value them by backing your words with actions. When you say you are going to do something, do it.

Tip: If the action you carry out isn’t visible to the employee, follow up with them and let them know what you’ve done, what the outcome was, and what the next steps may be.


#3 Equitable

Give recognition generously and fairly. Where recognition is bestowed illustrates what and who an organization values. It is important to be mindful of this.


#4 Embedded in Culture

Create a culture of recognition where it is freely given, regularly received, and reaches all corners of the organization. Simply having a recognition program at your organization is not enough.

Tip: Make developmental conversations a habit. Ask about your employees’ goals, motivations, what they want to learn, and what excites them. Train your managers to do this as well!


#5 Personalized

Do you know how your employees like to be recognized? Employees have different preferences of how and where they receive recognition. The research shows that only 10% of employees strongly agree they have been asked by someone in their current workplace how they like to be recognized.

Tip: Get to “really” know your people. When you take time to know the people you lead, you can personalize your management approach.  


As a leader, I challenge you to build a better recognition strategy within your organization.

1.   Make recognition accessible

2.   Make it an important part of your culture

3.   Train your managers

4.   Model the behavior

5.   Prioritize recognition

By doing this, you can foster a culture of appreciation and motivate your team to continue delivering exceptional results – and gain a 28% improvement in quality!

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