Studies prove it: the best managers are those who recognize their employees’ work often and effectively, making them perform better with greater commitment to their work.
Recognition is a key factor in encouraging employee engagement and performance. Studies show that the simple act of providing positive feedback not only boosts employee confidence but also increases their intrinsic motivation. Employees who are recognized for good work feel a greater sense of self-esteem. This plays a significant role in how they see themselves and work with others. While salary and benefits are an external source of motivation (extrinsic motivation), internal (intrinsic) motivation has the greatest impact on employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention.
There are two types of recognition: formal and informal. In general, informal, daily recognition is most appreciated by employees. It’s important to note that recognition does not necessarily have to come from a superior — it’s just as effective coming from a peer.
Employees need to feel recognized for their efforts and know that others are grateful when they achieve desired results. For recognition to be truly meaningful, it must be:
- Timely — It’s important to recognize hard work and a job well done right when you see it.
- Specific — Feedback must be linked to clearly defined goals and behaviour.
- Personalized — What motivates one person doesn’t necessary motivate another, so it’s important to get to know what motivates each employee.
- Disciplined — When it comes to recognition, you need to be consistent to make feedback part of your team culture.
- Creative and innovative — The rewards that provide the greatest motivation are not necessarily the most expensive ones. An informal recognition program should be creative, fun and easy to run.
Employee recognition is everyone’s business and should be a priority at all times. Indeed, employees who are happier at work will be more willing to work with their clients, even the most difficult ones.
Would you like to recognize one or more members of your team? Here are some simple and fun ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Ideas for managers
Ideas for peers
This article was made possible through the collaboration of Human Resources and Student Services (Administrative Services).