Employee recognition: How to get it right

But is your strategy working as well as you think?

Employee recognition: How to get it right

Employee recognition is one of the simplest and most cost-effective strategies to boosting motivation and productivity in the workplace. So why is so often underutilised?

New research by Achievers has identified a sizeable disconnect between how successful managers see their company’s recognition strategies to be and the experience of employees on the ground. Of those surveyed, only 12% said they felt appropriately recognised at work, compared to managers, who estimated that figure at 22%.

Speaking to HRD, Mark Barling, Regional Vice President of Sales, Achievers APAC, said it’s time for HR leaders to address and understand the recognition problems that exist within their organisations.

“Recognition is multifaceted; how it plays out in a given workplace will vary greatly from industry to industry, and even office to office,” he said. “But in general, recognition should be used as a means to anchor back to and reward the practice of the company’s core values.

“If a company wants to have a true culture of employee recognition, the sharing of appreciation and rewards must be frequent and extend across the entire enterprise - nobody can be left out.

“Every location, team, business unit, and individual must be equally likely to have their great work noticed and praised.”

Read more: Flexible working: Is it given or is it earned?

Traditionally, there has been a tendency to focus recognition on the commercial departments, like sales. Afterall, success is easier to measure when it comes down to numbers. But what about other teams who do a great job of carrying out invaluable admin work? Or employees who dedicate time to mentoring others or to creating an inclusive workplace culture?

In the post-pandemic world, the value of workplace culture, inclusion, career growth and a sense of belonging has risen to the surface. With employees dispersed across locations and many still in lockdown, HR leaders need to be more intentional about every aspect of the employee experience. Under the challenging circumstances we’re currently in, it’s why recognising employees with something as simple as a shout out goes a long way.

In an upcoming webinar, hosted by Achievers & HRD, Barling will join two guest speakers to delve into the behavioural science of recognition and offer insight into what makes a successful strategy. Attendees will hear from Meahan Callaghan, ex Chief People Officer at Afterpay and one of the world’s leading researchers in the subject of employee science and TEDx speaker Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist at Achievers. In the interactive session, they’ll share examples of impactful recognition programs and advice for HR leaders on overcoming current and future challenges.

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The other major challenge facing HR leaders is around capturing feedback and giving employees a voice, Barling said.

“Leaders sometimes stock up their feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, to wait for a more formal review,” he said. “The challenge here is that humans need more immediate recognition if you want them to model those positive behaviours in the workplace. Wait for a review and you’ll have lost your momentum around it.”

In this talent-short market Australia is experiencing, Barling said right now is a pivotal moment for HR leaders to implement successful recognition.

“HR will have to be proactive and continue to redefine their role against the new reality and play a key role in driving the business strategy, the future of work and the future of the workforce,” he said.

To save your spot for the free webinar, click here to register.

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