Creating a culture of appreciation in your workforce

Stopping the Great Resignation: Organisations need to create a culture of appreciation in your workforce

Creating a culture of appreciation in your workforce

Whether we call it the great resignation, the great reshuffle, a talent shortage, or the brain drain, it’s no secret that kiwi workers are weighing up their employment options and there’s a myriad of research to back that up.

An Auckland University of Technology ‘Wellbeing at Work’ study last year revealed that only 9.2% of employees were not considering leaving their jobs and new research released this week indicates that almost one in five (18%) Kiwi workers actively searched for another role in a new company last quarter.

Read more: How to ensure staff feel seen and valued at work

Rhys Hughes, Regional Vice President APAC and Japan at SumTotal Systems believes with the skills crisis raging on, organisations are increasingly turning their attention to employee retention to stop the great resignation, he says that organisations need to focus on creating a culture of appreciation within their organisations.

“Traditionally, appreciation and recognition in the workplace have been dismissed as unimportant,” said Hughes. Many employers felt that showing too much appreciation was unprofessional, or that employers who did were simply coddling their employees.”

Read more: Employee Appreciation Day: How to show your people you care

The reality is, there is a lot of research backing the positive impact that receiving recognition in the workplace can have on the health, wellbeing, and overall performance of employees.

“Recognising this is only half the battle,” said Hughes. “Once they have accepted the need to show appreciation, the biggest challenge for managers is learning how they can convey that during the everyday of the workplace.”

Rhys Hughes’ five tips to create a culture of appreciation in your workforce

1. Increase feedback frequency

Employees who receive regular feedback and recognition are more committed than those who only receive feedback at an annual performance review. It’s important that managers consciously plan space for appreciative words and gestures each day, for example after tasks have been completed.

2. Personalisation is key

Not every type of recognition suits every employee. Where some employees might prefer recognition in private, others will be more motivated by their efforts being recognised in a group environment. In practice, providing the right feedback means finding out what each individual values. Employers should offer employees the opportunity to specify how they prefer their feedback. For example, HR teams can design a team conversation or feedback round which asks what the best form of recognition each team member has received in the past.

3. Introduce an element of fun

Classic forms of feedback have their place, but sometimes a little imagination can give appreciation some added punch. Virtual trophies could be presented in team video meetings – or a physical trophy for teams in the office. Particularly committed team members could be given a spontaneous day off, or gifts such as a shopping voucher or cooking class. Variety is key!

4. Choose spontaneity over routine

Too often, employee appraisal is limited to routine times, such as quarterly reviews. Managers should aim to also recognise employees’ achievements as and when they happen. Simple personal messages can have a huge impact – such as handwritten thank you notes from the CEO, or a shout out in a team meeting.

5. Invest in career advancement

Helping employees progress is also a good way of expressing appreciation. For example, release a colleague who has been particularly hard working from certain duties so that they can focus on a project that they have shown interest in, which may open new opportunities for them. Allow staff time to further their education and training. Another way to support staff advancement is to mention their hard work on the company social media platforms. This will have the added benefit of showing your customers what committed employees your company has and show potential candidates that your business appreciates its staff.

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