Engaging Employees with Recognition

As we settle into our blog series on engagement, you’ll notice the distinct differences in each author’s or blogger’s take on its importance. You’ll also note the different suggestions to bring engagement into reality. Our friend Roy Saunderson, co-host of Real Recognition® Radio, uses a little positive psychology in his look at employee engagement. Enjoy.

Can employee recognition really make a difference?

Those wonderful research folks at Gallup insist that employee recognition is a powerful driving force behind employee engagement.

From their classic Q12 engagement tool they ask employees about receiving recognition or praise over the past seven days for the work they do. They found that a variation on recognition scores resulted in 10 to 20 percent differences in productivity and revenue, and even retention of loyal customers was impacted.

Numbers seem to grab people’s attention far more than recognition being the right thing to do in treating people.

It is an amazingly simple concept to give people the praise and recognition they deserve. All you have to do is:

  • Thank people for doing good work.
  • Express concern for people’s wellbeing.
  • Demonstrate respect in day-to-day activities.
  • Celebrate people’s successes
  • Acknowledge achievements of those around you.
  • Honor those who have contributed so much to a company
  • Appreciate the little things that people do for you and others.

This simple act of acknowledging and recognizing people is so taken for granted that nearly 20 percent of employees leave organizations because of insufficient recognition.

What can we do to change this malaise and lack of ownership for recognizing the great people we work with each day?

Variation on recognition scores resulted in 10 to 20 percent differences in productivity and revenue, and even retention of loyal customers was impacted

Recognition Giving is an Inside Job.

I have always said you have to be able to appreciate yourself first before you can ever recognize another person. It may take some personal reassessment and correcting of negative self-talk to get there. But when you look at the good you bring to others along and the contributions you make, I think you will see you make a positive difference.

Start Each Day with Gratitude and Reflection.

Whether through personal meditation or prayer begin each day acknowledging the gifts, health and relationships you have in your life. Shawn Achor advised my colleague Max Brown and me to start our day off right by not reading any emails until we first sent an email expressing gratitude to another individual. It makes you feel good for doing it and this naturally lifts the spirits of the recipient.

Become a Good Finder.

Being critical and judging the mistakes people make, and their quirky faults, is easy to do. Try this for a day instead – look for the good in everyone you meet or observe in your day to day life. The other day I saw a preteen bending down so his younger sibling could talk right into his ear. Make a mental note. Look everyone you deal with directly in the eye and thank them sincerely and specifically about how they helped you.

When you look at the good you bring to others along and the contributions you make, I think you will see you make a positive difference

Learn to Praise Authentically.

When you know your true worth and have a grateful and heart, you cannot help but speak from an inner strength. You’ll catch subtle things around you that most people miss and so stopping to appreciate it and tell a person hits home and deeply. Expressions may be short and sweet or long and meaningful. The words will flow naturally because the experience being acknowledged has been felt and not just observed.

What I have tried to demonstrate here is the act of appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do is what “real recognition” is all about.

When we give praise and acknowledge those around us we give of ourselves. It is truly putting ourselves out there that connects us with the person we have recognized.

This is what engagement is all about – connecting one person with another and bringing purpose and meaning to the work they do each day.

Keep giving!

Connect Deeper with Roy

Roy Saunderson is the Get Recognition Right Guy and Chief Learning Officer of Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute. You can find out more about Roy at www.Rideau.com read his blog there and be sure to follow him on Twitter at @RoySaunderson


Photo by Vitriolata

Roy Saunderson has spent most of his career showing people how to give others “real recognition”. He really is the Get Recognition Right® Guy. He is an author, consultant and speaker to organizations around the world from North America, Europe, Middle East and India. He serves as the Chief Learning Officer of Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute and has personally worked with Boeing, Credit Suisse, Disney, Intel, Johnson and Johnson, and the Canadian Federal Government leaders in getting recognition right. And the best recognition for Roy to get right is being a happy family man and being married to his lovely wife, Irene, for over 35 years and enjoying their five children and 11 grandchildren.

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