The Importance of Employee Recognition

We live in a world that is run by money. Money dictates where we live, how we live, and what we do for a living. However, money isn’t the only factor that matters in business anymore. More and more we are seeing employees leaving their current positions due to lack of recognition. According to a recent study by Accenture, 43% of people left their jobs due to lack of recognition[1]. So what does this say about the culture of our leadership?

My first thought is that we need to slow down and smell the roses. Translation: appreciate what we have (while we still have it). The unfortunate reality is sometimes not everyone is as heavily involved in individual teams and projects, which means not everyone always knows who is doing what. Think back to the days of school projects. Inevitably within a team setting you will always have that one person who takes charge and leads the pack. That person becomes a crucial part of the vision and overall goal, but at the end of the day just because that person worked a little harder than the other group members doesn’t mean they received a better grade or more credit.

The point is the teacher only sees the end project, not the process to get there. A lot of times this happens within an organization. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is that a job was completed, how that happened doesn’t matter quite as much (but to us, the employees, it does). If you want to retain talent you have to take the time to recognize the employees who make the organization grow.

Recognition does not always mean a raise. While money is a great way to show your employees that you value their efforts, it is not the only way.

Recognition could mean, but isn’t limited to:
• taking them out to lunch
• rewarding them with a gift card
• letting them leave early on Friday
• giving them a day to work from home

Get creative with how you show your appreciation! Each employee is different so no one way to express gratitude is right or wrong. Maybe one employee would really enjoy going out to lunch and talking about their accomplishments. Another employee might hold higher value in having a day to work from home. It is all about knowing your people and what they would appreciate most.