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Employee Recognition is the Key Driver of Engagement

Employee engagement expert and author Kevin Sheridan recently reported that the number one key driver of employee engagement is recognition!  He also reported that there are hundreds of millions of workers worldwide who feel unappreciated and have not hear a “thank you” from someone in a long time (Sheridan, 2017).  The thing we have consistently found in our research on employee engagement is that the top organizations in the world recognize their employees at every touch point, every day, not just once a year in their performance review.

Tips for Recognition in Your Workplace

When it comes to engaging all individuals in your organization, you must recognize and reward them in a way that they want to be recognized. That being said, there are a few overarching ways to recognize your talent to create employee engagement.

Want to Learn More About Recognition? Chat with Us!

Non-monetary Recognition

Non-monetary recognition addresses the emotional needs of individuals. It reinforces behaviors that can change corporate culture permanently, and it is values and principle based.

Examples include:

  • a formal certificate of appreciation,
  • publicly acknowledging an individual at a team meeting
  • a quick and personalized thank-you in person
  • a personalized email message.

Monetary Rewards

Monetary rewards address the rational needs of individuals. Rewards can be used to recognize high performers in your organization and motivate others.  Most people love to be recognized financially.  Some examples include:

  • a performance bonus,
  • a raise,
  • spot cards,
  • spa gift certificates,
  • points in their employee engagement portal

Learning Opportunities

Learning and development are two of the other key drivers of engagement. When you invest in your talent by enabling them with new skills and competencies, they are more likely to give you their energy and loyalty. Your talent does not want to stay stationary – they want to grow their skills that make them more marketable NOW and in the future. Providing your leaders, employees and sales reps with learning opportunities shows that you’re committed to their continued growth in the organization and makes them feel valued. Read more about why I believe there is not a Lack of Motivation in the Workplace Today, There is a Lack of Development.

Examples of learning opportunities can include:

  • formal eLearning,
  • manager training,
  • shadowing colleagues in roles above them,
  • giving them a challenging project or problem to solve.

Coaching and Feedback

Managers play a significant role in the day-to-day work experience and engagement of their direct reports. Your talent wants honest and ongoing feedback and communication so that they know your expectations and how they can achieve success. One-on-one coaching shows your talent that you have a vested interest in their development, growth and overall success. When they feel they are enabled to do their job to the best of their abilities and you give them the tools, guidance and direction to do so, the outcome will be immeasurable!  Read more about the Senior Leader’s Role in Employee Engagement here.

Your people want to feel recognized and valued.  If you want to really make an impact on employee engagement in your organization, focus on creating a world class engagement culture focused on recognizing and rewarding your people for their great work. Your engagement and recognition must be personalized for every individual inside your organization. The above ideas are just a few ways you can start to create engagement inside of your organization.

If you want to chat more about how to implement a personalized total recognition program in your organization, contact us - we're here to help!

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Jennifer Budinsky is the Director, Marketing Communications for Global Engagement Solutions whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining GES Jennifer was the Communications and Marketing Manager at Green Living Enterprises, Canada’s leading cause marketing and event agency focused on social and environmental program development. She has a Master of Arts in Communication and Social Justice, and Bachelor of Arts Honours in Communication, Media and Film from the University of Windsor. She resides in Toronto, Ontario and spends her free time working as an actress on various television and film projects there. Jennifer is an ambassador for encouraging people to create exceptional experiences in every aspect of their lives, from work to home to play!