Lack of Employee Recognition: How to solve it!

The lack of employee recognition is one of the main reasons for abandonment in companies. According by Randstad Research, a third of employees would quit their job if their employer did not value them as they deserve.

Despite this, team recognition is still a pending task for many organizations that consider that a salary is more than enough to demonstrate gratitude.

However, surveys carried out around the world disagree with this perception.

Congratulations ” or “ Thank you ” have the power to change everything. Positive feedback and recognition are very powerful tools, capable of transforming the work environment and promoting cohesion and a feeling of belonging.

Next, we are going to see how employee recognition impacts employee motivation, the different ways of valuing work, and some examples of good practices.

What happens if employees don’t feel recognized?

Believe it or not, the lack of employee recognition is a multifaceted problem that negatively influences company culture. It decreases performance, harms job satisfaction and affects talent loyalty.

Therefore, the long-term repercussions will be reflected in the organizational and financial health of the company.

This situation is very common in companies with a traditional and hierarchical approach, where formal and informal employee recognition is not usually as widespread as in other corporate cultures more oriented to horizontal management models.

Luckily, in recent years, there has been a significant shift toward adopting more inclusive practices focused on employee well-being.

This has implied a greater emphasis on implementing employee appreciation strategies, driven in part by the influence of global trends and the need to attract and retain increasingly demanding young talent.

Understanding gratitude: what should you keep in mind about employee recognition?

Gratitude in the work – and personal – context can be analyzed through various facets that capture its essence and the impact it has on people.

They help us better understand how we can say “thank you,” how others perceive it, and what effects it has.

Let’s look at it in more detail:

→ Recognition of the contribution. This dimension focuses on valuing the specific contributions of collaborators. It implies noticing that good work has been done, that behind the results there is an effort and that the achievements are visible.

→ Personal validation. Beyond recognizing the work done, this dimension refers to the appreciation of the person as a whole, including their qualities, abilities and personal characteristics. It is a way of affirming the intrinsic value that each collaborator has for the organization. 

→ Expression of gratitude. How gratitude is communicated. That is, if it is verbally, in writing, or through gestures. Genuine expression of gratitude conveys appreciation and recognizes the importance of the other person’s actions.

→ Public vs. private recognition. Each approach has its place, so it’s important to understand your team dynamics and individual preferences to maximize the impact of recognition. While some employees may appreciate the encouragement of being praised in front of their colleagues, highlighting their contribution to success, others may prefer a more low-key approach, valuing direct, personal recognition that confirms their worth without putting them in the spotlight.

→ Formality and informality. From award ceremonies to personal gestures of appreciation between colleagues. The choice between a formal or informal style may depend on the organizational culture, the occasion and the relationships between team members.

→ Frequency. It refers to how often gratitude is expressed. Continuous and regular recognition contributes to a positive work environment, while sporadic events are often used to highlight significant achievements or particular milestones.

5 employee  recognition systems that you can use with your team

There are many ways to thank the team, and all of them will depend on the company culture and its work philosophy. Here we leave you only 5 of them:

1. Recognition point system

This reward model is an example of how to value employees while creating a space for healthy competitiveness. With this system, employees earn points for achieving certain goals, exemplary behaviors or exceeding milestones.

Then, those points can be exchanged for rewards, such as days off, bonuses, gifts, or experiences.

This is a fun way to encourage ongoing motivation and allows team members to choose rewards they really enjoy.

2. Peer- to -Peer Recognition

There are platforms on the market where employees can recognize and thank their colleagues directly by sending “ Kudos ,” or “winks.”

For example, LinkedIn offers the ability to send congratulations to your colleagues. You can also use an internal app, physical or digital bulletin boards, or regular meetings to highlight each other’s contributions.

This approach promotes a culture of mutual appreciation and reinforces team cohesion and a sense of belonging.

3. Celebrations and recognition ceremonies

Ceremony sounds very formal, but far from organizing Oscar-style galas, you can have regular events, such as annual or quarterly meetings, where individual and team achievements are recognized.

Here you can include awards such as the typical “Employee of the Month”, recognitions for years of service, or awards for innovation and leadership. Collective celebrations are a great way to publicly recognize efforts and foster a sense of community.

4. Instant recognition

Or what is the same, say “thank you” at the right time. Something as simple as a thank you, whether in person or by email, is a powerful resource for reinforcing desirable behaviors in real time, and shows employees that you value their work on an ongoing basis, not just on specific occasions.

When is a good time to thank your employees?

  • After delivery of a project.
  • When an employee shows initiative, they go beyond their responsibilities or solve complex problems.
  • After an exceptional performance in customer service.
  • When an employee helps a colleague.
  • For contributions that improve the work environment

These are just five examples, but you can surely find many more situations that deserve a thank you.

5. Professional development and growth opportunities

As the last method on our list we leave you with what is probably the most valued of all: recognizing performance and dedication by offering them the possibility of growing in their professional career.

For example, leading new projects that require more responsibility, thus demonstrating that you trust their skills and their ability to carry out more complex tasks.

This type of recognition not only rewards the most ambitious employees, it is also a great way to invest in the future of the organization.

Job recognition: Now what?

Each of these systems has the potential to positively reinforce those behaviors that lead to success and improve team morale. And you know, a motivated team is a productive and loyal team.

No matter which system you use, the important thing is to adapt them to the way your organization works, and combine recognition with constructive feedback to meet the unique needs and preferences of your team and your organization.

Do you want to know if your team is satisfied with your employee recognition system? Create a free account on Team Insights and find out right now.

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