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The importance of employee recognition

Group of people in multi colored clothes aligned and smiling

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and recognised for what they do. At work, at home and in every aspect of life, being recognised and appreciated for the contribution you make can foster a level of loyalty, gratitude and happiness that becomes the foundation of everything you do. 

For business owners, the importance of recognising your employees for the results they achieve and how they contribute to the team is paramount in ensuring they feel happy, rewarded and maintain a high level of productivity. When you prioritise employee recognition in your business, it can have a positive, powerful impact on your overall business performance.

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is everything that a business or organisation does to show gratitude to their employees for the work or effort that they put in. Recognition for your employees can include a variety of different forms including public or private praise, awards, gifts, monetary rewards, anniversary or milestone celebrations.

Recognition is often used interchangeably with appreciation, but there are some key differences between the two, which is essential for business owners to be conscious of when recognising their employees and what they bring to the table.

Recognition vs appreciation

Understanding the difference between recognition and appreciation is fundamental in ensuring that your employees feel valued, part of the team, dedicated to performing well and are strong ambassadors for your business when dealing with clients or customers. 

Recognition focuses on what employees do and the results they achieve, whereas appreciation focuses more on the employee themselves and ensuring that they feel valued, validated and understood. 

Woman smiling dressed in glasses and white corporate attire

Why is recognition important?

Recognition is important because humans have an innate sense of wanting to feel worthy and recognised in all areas of their life. As a business owner, when your employees feel recognised, this leads to:

  • Enhanced employee engagement.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Improved workforce retention.
  • A more harmonious and positive workplace and culture.
  • And an increase in customer service levels.

Creating a workplace program that rewards and recognises your employees can be instrumental in maintaining consistent employee recognition that provides ongoing benefits for both your business and your employees.

How do you reward and motivate employees?

Rewarding and motivating employees leads to a more engaged team, builds trust, confidence and loyalty and increases workplace productivity. Employees who feel adequately recognised and rewarded are more likely to remain committed to your business in the long term, rather than looking for opportunities with competitors. So how do you go about rewarding and motivating your employees? 

Maintaining and improving employee motivation in your organisation is no easy task. Workplace morale can ebb and flow, and individuals are motivated by different things. What motivates one employee may not work as effectively for another. However studies have shown that ultimately there are two key drivers when it comes to motivating employees - earning money or rewards and job satisfaction.

One of the most common methods used successfully to motivate staff and recognise the hard work of employees is through the use of rewards.

Employee Recognition Examples

There are a number of different ways you can reward and recognise your employees. Some examples of employee recognition include:

  • Verbal praise in a private or public setting.
  • Written praise (handwritten note or email).
  • A team celebration.
  • Gifts or vouchers.
  • Monetary rewards or bonuses.

As an employer you may also choose to recognise your employee with praise and empower them to choose their own reward. What is most important when providing your employees with recognition is that they do feel rewarded, valued and appreciated for their contributions, who they are and what they bring to the business.

Man holding a gift box with ribbon and thank you card

Creating a culture of employee appreciation

Creating a culture of appreciation is important as it fosters employee loyalty, trust and builds connection within the organisation. To build or create a culture of employee appreciation in your business, here are some concepts to implement:

  • Listen. Take the time to listen to both the positives and negatives that your employees share with you.
  • Take action. When you become aware of areas within your organisation that need improvement, or things that are working well, take action to either remedy the situation, or applaud and encourage what is working well.
  • Live your values. As the leader of your business, you need to live and breathe the values you have created for your business. Your employees are looking to you for guidance and motivation.
  • Celebrate and recognise. Everyone loves to be recognised for their hard work. Take the time to celebrate the big wins, but also recognise the small, every day tasks that assist in achieving your business goals.
  • Be consistent. Every employee can be motivated or rewarded by different things. However it is important that you maintain a consistent reward system or program so that every person has the opportunity to be recognised for their contribution.

Happy employees equal improved business performance

Taking the time to look at how you recognise and reward your employees can provide great insight into how your business is performing. The role of employee recognition in business performance should not be underestimated, as happy, fulfilled employees lead to enhanced productivity, reduced employee turnover and great business results. 

If you’re ready to level up your business performance, our small business workshops can help you to improve a range of areas within your business. Whether you need a workshop on business strategy, planning, culture and values, improving your business processes or creating a cross functional team, we’ve got the workshop for you. Book a complimentary call with the Your Business Momentum Consultants to learn more. 


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