What is a recognition culture and how might it benefit your business?
Developing a company culture where employees feel recognised can have an enormous impact on their engagement. In fact, research shows that organisations that regularly give thanks to their employees often outperform those that don’t. However, the majority of recognition programs (87% in fact) tend to focus on the tenure of employees, rather than performance. Rewarding employees based on tenure has no observable benefits with regards to improving employee culture. Josh Bersin, CEO of Bersin by Deloitte, states that according to research, the top 20% of companies that have a recognition rich culture have reduced levels of voluntary employee turnover.
So how do you build a recognition culture at your workplace?
Develop formal, informal and day-to-day recognition practices
It’s important to recognise that increasing employee engagement doesn’t have to be all about formal practices. Certainly certificates and awards are important to the overall reward program, but often day-to-day and informal recognition of effort is just as meaningful. Hand-written cards and emails praising employees for their efforts have a significant role in employees feeling that their work is valued. Additionally, rather than meaningless rewards that celebrate employee tenure, develop a rewards program that’s based on specific behaviours and achievement, says Josh Bersin.
Create a culture of accountability
If employees are accountable for the tasks relating to their role, they are more likely to excel. Being held accountable for tasks through templates such as KPI’s or OKR’s and building these measurement tools into the operating rhythms of the business can help manage employee accountability. Quite often it’s documeting the expectations you have of your employees that enables them to comprehend what is expected of them and to increase their engagement.
Create a culture of growth and job opportunity
Part of increasing employee engagement is clearly demonstrating to employees how their role helps the overall business achieve its objectives. As employees grow and develop, it’s important that they can identify their next growth opportunity within the business. If there are little or no opportunities to move within the business, employees might start to question their future there.
Organisational change certainly doesn’t happen overnight: often it can take between 18 and 24 months for a change to become part of an organisation’s culture. For change to take effect, it needs to be modelled by the Senior Leadership team or the business leaders initially. It’s important for employees to feel empowered so ensure your team are encouraged to recognise others within the workplace who have gone ‘above and beyond’. In doing that, employees share responsibility for recognising performance and encourage a positive working environment.
If you would like more information on how to help improve employee engagement at your organisation, speak with one of our HR Consultants.