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Friday, July 19, 2024

Why Managers Should Utilise the Power of Recognising Their Staff

The UK’s workforce is running out of steam. After a tumultuous year, and shifts in workload owing to mass redundancies across all industries, many employees in the UK are ‘zombies’, with 34% or workers “going through the motions”. Low morale can engender poor performance, and managers across the country may be seeing downturns in productivity – but a simple management trick could be the answer: the power of recognition.

What is the Power of Recognition?

So what do we mean by the ‘power of recognition’? It is a power of awareness; of seeing the time and effort members of a team or department pour into a particular task, project or outcome, and of responding to that effort with positive reinforcement and reward. Recognising the hard work of your staff represents a transparency of management, an understanding of what makes the business tick and a vested interest in the careers and skills of your staff.

Why is Recognising Staff Useful to Businesses?

Recognising your staff is more than a giving of thanks, or an altruistic token beyond the payment of wages. Recognition is ‘powerful’ by virtue of the effects it can have on employee morale, productivity and even results, not to mention staff turnover. The National Employee Research Survey found that 90% of employees across the private and public sector felt employee recognition was important to them – and that 72% of respondents would work harder if appreciated as part of a staff appreciation program. Employee appreciation opens the door to continued hard work and additional effort, in making employees more likely to go the extra mile on your behalf – knowing that their hard work will be seen and rewarded in some way.  Recognised employees are happier employees, as the morale of the office increases with recognition of effort. Happier employees are also far less likely to hunt for new work, a valuable effect for your business in times of labour shortage and a jobseeker’s market.

How to Effectively Recognise Staff

What form should employee recognition take in your workplace? There are various ways to approach the practice, with their own associated costs and benefits; a comprehensive appreciation program which utilises some or all in some way is a powerful way to retain your skilled staff, and inspire them to work at their best.

Recognition begins with words. Praise can go a long way with regard to incentivising employees – and it doesn’t cost a penny. A simple email to an employee or team to say thank you and well done following the completion of a last-minute task, or minor time-sensitive work ahead of an important meeting, can work wonders for their self-esteem, and indicate that you are aware of their efforts.

For larger-form projects or tighter deadlines, physical gifts can be especially well-received. Something as simple as a box of chocolates after a tough project or period of work can go a long way to saying thanks, and reassure hard workers that their efforts will be rewarded. Smaller gifts more frequently would be a better option than larger, more expensive gifts on occasion, as more frequent gifts will remain fresh in the memory, keeping employees going without flagging.

Lastly, Employee of the Month schemes can ensure that members of a workforce are recognised outside of specific projects and deadlines, giving everyone the opportunity to shine. As part of an employee of the month program, you can speak directly to the recipient each month and tell them exactly what they did to earn the spot – meaning the reward doubles as a constructive meeting to shore up existing positive traits.

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