The Importance of Recognition

In the pre-COVID world, employee recognition was the foundation for a positive workplace culture and a productive, engaged workforce. While COVID-19 has drastically changed many aspects of our professional lives, giving recognition and showing appreciation are still a vital part of any business strategy. The challenge now becomes how leaders and managers can create new and inventive ways to transition their rewards and recognition program to a largely remote workforce.

Research is showing that many organizations are enjoying improved employee retention and increased job satisfaction among remote employees, so you might be wondering if recognition is important to remote workers. According to a recent Gallup survey, it is crucial for remote workers to feel appreciated and recognized. Lack of recognition leads employees to feel ignored, and 40% of remote workers who feel ignored also reported being actively disengaged with their work. Not only that, but feeling appreciated leads to improved overall mental and physical wellbeing, especially in remote workers.

Tips for Giving Recognition

  • Don’t wait to give recognition: Everyone loves instant gratification and this holds true with employees. Recognizing employees soon after a job well done instantly improves their mood and motivates them to continue doing well.
  • Go Beyond Email: While sending an email giving recognition still has benefits, it should not be your only form of connection. Consider giving weekly acknowledgement over the phone or on a Zoom call and give shout-outs on the company’s internal communication platform or social media channels.
  • Recognition tactics should reflect the accomplishment: Take the time to consider the various accomplishments you are giving recognition for. If it is a small accomplishment, then a “good job” or shout-out during a team Zoom meeting will work well. However, if it is a big accomplishment that had a positive impact on the entire organization, then a companywide announcement is more fitting.
  • Align recognition with core values: Whatever your organization’s core values are, make sure the recognition you give supports them. This shows employees you are committed to your values, which increases both their respect for you and their engagement.
  • Ensure recognition is inclusive: While employees higher up may have the biggest accomplishments, make sure to recognize entry level employees for their accomplishments, too. This will make those employees feel both included and appreciated and show them that there are growth opportunities for them within organization.
  • Consider the Situation: When giving rewards or gifts as recognition for a job well done, remember to evaluate the current situation. For example, right now many gyms and restaurants still have restrictions due to COVID-19 and some employees may feel uncomfortable being in public settings right now. So a Door Dash gift card or a free membership for virtual workout classes might be more fitting.

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