Why Recognition Matters: The Key to Retaining Top Talent

employee recognition on a chalk boardWould it surprise you that the Workhuman Research Institute found that 21 percent of employees surveyed have never been recognized at work 😲, and 33 percent haven’t received any recognition in the past six months? Even those employees who don’t thrive on recognition still need more attention than that! Employers must better create an emotional connection with employees by acknowledging, appreciating, and applauding their efforts 👏.

But not all recognition is created equal. In another study, Gallup and Workhuman partnered to study employees across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland to understand what recognition means to them, whether they feel they are receiving it authentically, equitably, and frequently enough, and what effect good recognition has on their attitudes toward work and life. The study yielded fascinating insights.

The findings revealed that more than half of employees who feel that the recognition they receive at work is not authentic (53%) or equitable (52%) are actively looking or watching for new employment opportunities 🚪. It clearly signals that genuine and fair recognition significantly affects employee retention. On top of that, a staggering 40% of employees stated that they are not receiving enough recognition from the leaders in their organization. They are lucky to hear a word of appreciation a few times a year 📅 when research suggests that the bare minimum for positive impact is at least a few times a month.

However, the impact of effective recognition is truly remarkable 🌟. Those employees who receive the level of #recognition that matches their needs and expectations experience tangible benefits. They are 56% less likely to be looking or watching for job opportunities, four times more likely to be engaged 💼, three times more likely to feel loyal to their organization ❤️, four times more likely to strongly agree they would recommend their organization as a great place to work, four times more likely to feel that they belong at their organization, and five times more likely to see a path to grow within their organization 🌱.

These statistics demonstrate that recognition isn’t just a feel-good practice; it’s a powerful driver of #employeesatisfaction#employeeengagement, and #employeeloyalty. It’s clear that managers need to prioritize and enhance their efforts to recognize and appreciate their employees in meaningful ways.

So, how can you make sure that your recognition efforts hit the mark? It’s simple—be specific and sincere. Merely saying a generic “thank you” won’t cut it. Employees can see right through insincere efforts. Instead, take the time to provide specific feedback and acknowledge their contributions in detail. By offering specific and genuine appreciation, you let your employees know that you value their work and are paying attention to their efforts.

Remember, what gets recognized gets repeated. It’s not enough to acknowledge exceptional work sporadically; you must consistently practice recognition. A study by Marcial Losada found that you can foster a high-performing team by adopting a 6:1 positivity ratio, where employees receive at least six positive responses for every negative comment. This approach ensures that engagement is thriving and employees feel motivated to go above and beyond.

The power of #appreciation in business and life should never be underestimated 💪. By recognizing and appreciating your employees genuinely, equitably, and frequently, you can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and loyal. It’s time to prioritize recognition and harness its transformative impact on organizations 🏢.

What will you do today to make sure your employees know their efforts are seen, appreciated, and celebrated 🎉?

This article was originally published in my “Cracking the Retention Code” newsletter on LinkedIn. Check it out and subscribe!


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