Making recognition part of your culture

WestEnd61/REX Shutterstock

A new XpertHR guide to employee recognition looks at the importance of praising people for what they’ve achieved. Sheila Attwood looks at the business benefits of building a recognition culture and how this differs from simply offering employees a bonus.

At its simplest, recognition is saying “thank you” or “well done” to an employee for doing a good job, but it can extend up to a formal award presented at a major company event.

XpertHR’s new guide to employee recognition explains the importance of building a recognition culture, as well as providing guidance on introducing both informal and formal employee recognition schemes.

Recognition is closely associated with employee engagement, says co-author of the guide Chris Wilson: “Recognition can be significant in how engaged employees feel at work and a lack of recognition can have a detrimental impact on employee turnover.”

Research points to engaged employees being more motivated, committed and focused, so improved organisational performance is likely to follow.

Recognition continuum

According to Michael Rose, co-author of the report: “recognition can be in many different forms and may be looked at as a continuum, running from day-to-day schemes (saying “thank you”) through informal schemes (at a local level), to high profile formal schemes operated at corporate level”.

However, employers don’t have to go as far as a high-value award presented in front of the whole company. In fact, when setting out it may work best to have low value awards that are decided on at a local level. As the scheme beds in, there is the opportunity to introduce a more formal scheme.

These will need more administration, including a set of qualifying criteria that are given to all employees, nominators and assessors. Consistency in approach to what is being measured will help to ensure the scheme is a success.

Many employers will look to introduce a recognition scheme to help build the desired culture, but if an organisation is serious about it having a specific scheme will be only part of building a recognition culture.

The organisation will also need to build a management style that sees basic recognition as part of effective management, with managers thanking employees as a matter of course.

What organisations should not do is confuse awards made via an employee recognition scheme with incentives such as a bonus – these motivate people to reach a target in order to gain the award, whereas recognition is the act of praise for what an employee has done.

Comments are closed.