In my training
sessions I ask managers in attendance different questions to help them get
grounded about employee recognition. I also want to discern how aware they are of
the impact a lack of recognition has on their employees.
What I can
assure you is, a large majority of managers already know that unrecognized
employees are at risk.
The most common
factor identified is that unrecognized employees will lack motivation, are demotivated, or have no motivation
at all. This leads to underperformance or low performance.
realize that when employees are
not appreciated it will frustrate them, they become unhappy, and could well be looking for another job so are
at risk of leaving the company.
research by Dr. Jean-Pierre Brun at the Université Laval in Quebec City, found
that the absence of employee recognition is the second leading cause of
workplace burnout and stress, right after workload.
Recognition is a
positive form of expression and meaningfully conveyed through the eyes. They
have described our eyes as “the windows to the soul.” Using appropriate eye
contact, when in the right country, can be a great behavioral skill and
enhancer to improving the recognition you give to people.
Your eyes can
become a great connecting force with recognition giving.
A subscriber of our Authentic Recognition blog suggested I should
write about the difference between
recognition (more related to work) versus appreciation (more related to the
I asked them why this topic was
important right now. It seems their organization uses the Gallup Organization’s
Q12 engagement survey every two years. In the past year they focused on the
recognition specific question/statement #4, “In the last seven days, I have
received recognition or praise for doing good work”.
Her research, like many of us have found, led her to see that
“recognition in the workplace” has so many meanings.
She wisely observes that “people fundamentally want to be
‘understood and cared for’ or ‘appreciated’ and would prefer that over ‘recognition’”
She asked for my thoughts on the
differences between recognition and appreciation. Apparently, her
organization will likely continue with using recognition. However, she wonders
if more time should be spent on appreciation instead of recognition in order to
improve the Gallup survey scores.
companies launch recognition programs and they don’t exactly light up the sky
and shine, as they should.
For a variety of
reasons you might not have gotten the engagement and traction you thought you
would when you designed and developed your organization’s recognition program.
You thought you got everyone’s input and their buy in, and
foundational things can stop recognition program engagement whether it’s access
to technology, the nature of the work of most employees, or simply a
lack of respect thinking employee recognition is unimportant.
But let’s look
at what needs to be in place to engage your managers and employees with your
employee recognition programs.
I have traveled around the world
and presented or consulted with managers and leaders from 14 countries across a
variety of industries on the subject of giving meaningful and effective
Yet, in all these situations there
was a common problem experienced by many of these managers and leaders.
Many of them were uncomfortable
with giving recognition to peers or employees.
I have heard a long litany of
reasons for their apparent discomfort. Perhaps by examining the different
reasons people give for their discomfort we can learn what we can do to rectify
these situations and become more comfortable in recognizing those we work with.