As an employee, the worst feeling is to be under appreciated for a job well done. As an employer, the worst workplace environment is one in which employees are not motivated to complete their work effectively. To avoid this scenario, every company must engage in timely and tangible employee recognition. Recognizing employees can help managers and company leaders to create better businesses.

People Thrive Off Appreciation

Appreciation is an innate human need that helps us all feel like valued members of our communities, families and most especially, workplaces. When an employee is deservedly acknowledged, he or she will feel a sense of ownership within the company. An HR Case Study reported that 37% of employees thought the most important thing a manager can do to fuel better work was to give recognition for hard word. This sense of community can solidify relationships, foster loyalty to the company and more deeply engage employees. Most importantly, employees are driven to do their work better, faster and more effectively when they feel that their work is meaningful. In fact, employees who receive strong recognition are 33% more likely to proactively innovate. These employees also generate twice as many ideas per month compared to those who are not recognized well.

Recognition Leads to a Better Organization

This positive feedback loop of employee recognition works by promoting increased productivity and satisfaction from employees, which leads to increased value to your organization. In this way, acknowledging employees' hard work ultimately drives more revenue within a company. Yet there are several other indirect benefits. Employee recognition opens up communication channels in the workplace, promotes a supportive work environment and helps managers to retain the best talent within their company. For example, a company that celebrates service anniversaries gains an additional 4 years of tenure over companies who do not. Recognition impacts engagement at a rate of 2 to 1 in the areas of connection to the company and work relationships. These secondary effects will further increase your company's profits while promoting a positive workplace.

Formal vs. Informal Recognition

You may be thinking that you already engage in employee recognition. Isn't my email response to my assistant enough? Don't I consistently give words of encouragement to my technical personnel? Indeed, these forms of informal employee recognition are important for maintaining day-to-day morale and productivity. However, 78% of employees are highly engaged when they experience strong recognition and only 34% of employees are highly engaged when they experience weak recognition. Successful businesses realize the importance of formal recognition.

Formal recognition often involves a tangible gift for an employee who has earned recognition for his or her hard work. Physical recognition can come in all shapes and sizes, can be customized and is available at varying price levels for every budget. By utilizing this method of recognition, your employees can be sustained as consistently effective workers. While a word of praise is quickly forgotten, a trophy on an employee’s desk is a constant reminder and motivator to increase productivity.