The two magic words that motivate staff the most

There’s a cheap and simple way HR can get the best out of employees and encourage engagement too

The two little words ‘thank you’ have a significant impact on staff motivation, engagement and loyalty, according to the latest research.

A new report by HaysStaff Engagement: Ideas for Action, found that 87% of employees would go above and beyond if they were made to feel valued by their employer.

Indeed, 95 per cent of respondents said that recognition for a job well done is ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to them.

A further 62 per cent of employees would look for another job if they did not feel valued, while over half of employers (52 per cent) surveyed admitted that they can do better in the area of staff recognition.
These results are backed up by a recent Gallup survey which found 82 per cent of respondents said recognition motivates them to improve their job performance.
Moreover, Bersin & Associates has found that companies which scored in the top 20 per cent for building a “recognition-rich culture” had 31 per cent lower voluntary turnover rates.
Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, said one of the great benefits of acknowledging performance is that it costs nothing.

“Letting your staff know that their hard work and successes are valued has a huge impact on staff engagement, loyalty and morale,” he added.

Deligiannis said that forms of recognition vary depending on what works best for each individual organisation and its employees.

However, the one thing all successful recognition programs have in common is that they are sincere, he added.

“Some organisations choose to formally recognise top performance at regular weekly, monthly or annual meetings or events,” said Deligiannis.

“This formal approach serves to both recognise success while also inspiring other team members.
In contrast, other companies would rather have an informal and spontaneous approach that delivers recognition when success is achieved.

“This can range from sharing positive client feedback in a team email, newsletter or company blog, to shouting morning tea or letting an employee finish an hour early for a job well done,” he said.

“Ultimately though, the two simple words ‘thank you’ have a huge impact.”
Related stories:
What will it take to keep your staff engaged in 2016?
Employee motivation: the 7 deadly sins
Rejecting ideas – the secret employee motivator?

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