I’ve been asked to write about a subject that affects our daily work performance; Praise and Recognition. Employees do not believe they are appreciated by their employers, and feel they are taken for granted. They believe their managers really don’t care about them, or their contribution to the organization. Why? Because they are not affirmed for functioning at, and often above their bosses job expectation levels.
Why does it have to be this way? Why is it so difficult to give praise and recognition? Positive recognition is a powerful motivator, and it doesn’t cost anything. While feedback is the ongoing daily process of giving others the information to do their jobs better, recognition is an event that highlights positive results. Recognition encourages continued accomplishments, motivation, and adds something you cannot buy; your personal acknowledgment of a job well done. It fills an organizational need to share information, as well as filling one of our most basic human needs; to be valued and appreciated. It’s been proven consistently in surveys that recognition, appreciation and freedom (to do their job) rank above pay as the most satisfying part of employees work.
Giving positive recognition to others serves many purposes:
1 It lets people know they are working for someone who is not threatened by good performance of others.
2 It communicates personal appreciation for work well done that goes far beyond a paycheck.
3 It encourages others because they are being noticed and appreciated.
4 It avoids the resentment that can build when people believe they and their contributions are being taken for granted.
5 It builds positive relationships within the work force because employees feel personally appreciated, and want to share in communicating appreciation.
6 It demonstrates organizational values and principles and help people know where to focus their efforts.
It doesn’t make any difference what job the employee has, everyone deserves positive recognition when they perform at or above agreed to levels.
Interestingly enough, people usually get recognition only when they perform exceptionally, either exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly. Employees whose performance is less noticeable (that’s the majority of the work force) perform consistently well and are often overlooked, and taken for granted. Yet this majority (about 80 percent) is central to the organization’s success.
To overlook the good performance is to pass up a great opportunity for increasing productivity and innovation. More important, if this group remains unsupported or un-encouraged for very long, they may retreat into the ranks of marginal workers. This could reduce productivity, causing company success to suffer.