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How employers can harness the power of recognition

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by Startacus Admin


Nebel Crowhurst, Chief People Officer at Reward Gateway shares insights on the importance of celebrating employees every day of the year - not just on Employee Appreciation Day.

/jason-goodman-Ti7LQ0r-zy4-unsplashThe past few years of prolonged uncertainty and disruption has had a significant impact on employees. It's been a difficult time for many as they navigate rising costs and inflation, with many companies not being in a position to offer a pay rise or a bonus. What’s more, the ongoing war for talent has also led to many teams having their capacities overstretched as they try to work with fewer resources. 

Luckily, there are pieces of the employee satisfaction puzzle that employers can capture in their strategic planning. Recent data shows that 93% of employees in the UK feel that having management that listens is vital in order to have positive wellbeing at work. Employers need to realise that workers are more likely to feel motivated and aligned with company values if they feel appreciated.. Employees and job-seekers are ultimately looking for financial and mental wellbeing support, in addition to a culture where they can flourish. Therefore, valuing your employees is becoming increasingly important, and could be the key to retaining and attracting employees.

Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect time for HR leaders to harness the power of recognition and foster a rewarding workplace. In a budget-constrained environment, recognition doesn’t need to ‘break the bank’ either - a simple thank you or personalised gesture can go a long way.

Why recognising employees is important 

Recognition allows you to provide a personal, meaningful touchpoint so that an individual can understand their unique contribution to the business. Lack of recognition can lead to disengaged employees. If an employee believes that their hard work is not being recognised, they may not be as productive and as employee disengagement rises, workplace stress is likely to  follow, eventually leading to apathy and potential burnout.  

Appreciating your staff doesn’t have to be complicated, considering that  72% of UK workers said they would feel better at work if they were simply thanked more. Employers need to appreciate their staff’s efforts, whether done in person or in front of the wider team. 

Different ways managers can recognise their staff

With the current cost of living crisis, financial wellbeing should be at the forefront of employers' minds. Offering pay increases, promotions and bonuses, if possible, is a great way to reward hard work. But understandably, in this harsh economic climate, not everyone has the funds to do so. That said, there are other more cost-effective strategies that employers can implement that will make a huge difference. For example, paying for a music streaming service or gym membership. Utilising a digital engagement platform provides employees with discounts on groceries or their favourite products, whilst giving managers the opportunity to offer virtual appreciation and employees the choice of a reward that matters most to them. 

Similarly, non-monetary gestures such as time off, and early finishes can make employees feel valued. Celebrating  group achievements through team socials and creative group activities is also a great way to promote collaboration and teamwork throughout the company. On all levels, the power of peer-to-peer recognition is unmatched when it comes to celebrating individual efforts so that all employees can be a part of recognising and showing their appreciation for everyday moments.

pexels-diva-plavalaguna-6149784It's key to remember that remote workers are also part of the team and should be recognised as such - regardless of location. 

Whilst working from home is productive and can save costs on commuting, the lack of physical connection from the wider team can sometimes leave individuals feeling isolated. Providing stipends so that employees can have a home working environment that is both productive and comfortable is also worth considering, especially if you have a large remote workforce and given the growth in popularity of hybrid working post-pandemic. Employers need to make a conscious effort to include remote staff in their recognition schemes, to reduce the risk of them feeling further disconnected from the company. 

If you’re struggling to think of effective ways to recognise your employees - ask them! Be creative, no one knows your employees better than themselves. Involving them in the recognition process also shows that you value their input on both a professional and personal level. It’s important to implement different recognition schemes, to see which best suit your workforce and the varying personalities within it. 

The daily act of appreciation

Now more than ever, recognising your employees' efforts at work is of the utmost importance. Acknowledging Employee Appreciation Day is a great place to start, but employees should be appreciated all year round. People need to feel valued at work, especially in times of high stress to help them persevere - and it doesn’t require spending large amounts either.  There are various recognition schemes you can incorporate to fit your organisational structure and different personalities within a company. Employers need to remember the power of appreciation, especially as the working world continues to evolve. Failure to embrace and understand how to best harness recognition will ultimately lead to an environment leaders don’t want, which is one of high attrition and a dissatisfied workforce. 

Nebel Crowhurst • Chief People Officer Reward Gateway -3722ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nebel Crowhurst is Chief People Officer at Reward Gateway, the leading employee engagement platform provider in the UK.

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Published on: 2nd March 2023

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