Culture of Recognition in the Workplace

culture of recognition in the workplace

What is a culture of recognition?

There are few feelings worse than being unappreciated at work. However, this feeling is not uncommon in the workplace. Did you know that roughly 40% of workers believe that their company does not prioritize employee recognition?

As a manager, it is not difficult to create a culture of employee appreciation. This culture change starts at the top and ripples down to every level of your organization.

Read on to learn how to instill a culture of recognition in the workplace. Explore how important workplace recognition is and how to implement this culture change.

The Importance of Employee Recognition in the Workplace

Employees want to feel appreciated when they go to work. In fact, many employees value positive feedback from their supervisors more than monetary incentives. In some cases, a letter of appreciation carries more weight than a bonus.

This is not just an unsubstantiated opinion. Employee surveys reinforce this notion that employee recognition is of the utmost importance. 

One survey demonstrated that more than 80% of employees prefer supervisory praise over a gift. Another survey showed that 30% of employees would take a company-wide appreciation e-mail over a monetary bonus.

Benefits of Installing a Culture of Recognition in the Workplace

There are many benefits to making your employees feel appreciated. For instance, appreciated employees are more engaged. They participate more in meetings, team-building events, and other corporate initiatives.

A culture of recognition also leads to increased job satisfaction. Employees who are satisfied are more likely to remain at the company for a longer period of time. In turn, this decreases employee turnover and costs to train new employees.

Also, appreciated employees directly result in increased productivity. Their job satisfaction translates to increased output. They crave more praise and want to show their supervisors it is the rule and not the exception.

Implementing a Culture of Recognition

Now that the supporting case has been laid out, it is time to discuss how to implement a culture change. In its simplest form, recognition is acknowledging that work is complete and is done well. Start off by thanking employees for a job well done.

Employees like their peers to know that they are valued and doing well. Consider sending out company-wide e-mails to publicly show your appreciation. Some managers are turning to social media to highlight star employees.

Many companies do an employee of the month award. This is an example of positive recognition but does not go far enough. Instead, make positive recognition a part of your daily management strategy.

In some cases, you should go beyond words to recognize your employees. There are many non-monetary ways to show appreciation. For example, consider giving employees a paid afternoon off for a job well done.

How to Achieve a Culture of Recognition

The case is clear for installing a culture of recognition at your job. Workers who feel appreciated are energized and motivated to do great work. This leads to job retention and productivity gains.

Consider recognizing at least one employee’s good work on a daily basis. Also, social media posts or company-wide e-mails go a long way.

How do you know whether to recognize a behavior? A first step is to think about whether you’d like your employees to replicate that behavior or not.

In this article about creating a culture of recognition on your team, Olivia Jepson highlights three ways to get the ball rolling:

Create opportunities for your team to share their own work: Empower your team to communicate the work they do to leadership and larger groups on a regular basis.

Share recognition beyond small groups: Use larger Slack channels and meetings to share how one of your team members goes above and beyond every day or how they had a large impact on a specific project or campaign. Talk about your team members who have made an impact, even when they aren’t in the room.

Learn how your team likes to be recognized.

Be specific and relevant, tying it to a specific accomplishment or business objective.

 Implement peer to peer recognition – not top down recognition.

Make acknowledgement a habit – if you like something, say something in a timely manner.

If you enjoyed this article about installing a culture of recognition in the workplace, check out our building culture blog for more great content.

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