More than half (57%) of employees say feeling recognized would reduce the likelihood that they would take a call from a headhunter, according to the latest State of Recognition Report from Achievers Workforce Institute, the research and insights arm of Achievers, the global leader in employee voice and recognition solutions.
The ongoing “Great Resignation” is a symptom of the struggle employers face in adapting to the new world of work. The research shows that employees are not willing to compromise on job elements such as work-life integration, career progression, and a sense of belonging and fulfillment. They increasingly feel empowered (or entitled) to a culture, benefits, and perks that are the right fit for their desired lifestyle.
In response, employers need to go above and beyond to create a brand that attracts and an environment that retains. HR leaders who want to compete for talent must look to the data, which clearly shows that recognition can drive commitment, boost engagement and retention, and drive productivity while also building connections and making employees feel welcomed and included.
Praise over Price
The study found that feeling recognized more positively impacts employee engagement, productivity, and advocacy than a fair salary. Meaningfulness was the top factor in ensuring that employees feel recognized when building a culture of recognition. Two-thirds (64%) say they would prefer to receive more meaningful recognition, as opposed to more frequent recognition.
But what makes a recognition meaningful? According to respondents, the top three factors of a meaningful recognition are:
- About something specific that I did
- About me as an individual or about something I value
- About the way in which I made a difference to the person who sent me the recognition
Employers miss the target on training
Training is a crucial way to introduce and reinforce recognition best practices however, there is a disconnect between HR and employees. Compared to the 90% of HR leaders saying they offer such training, just 41% of employees say they have received training.
“Business leaders in this new era of work are facing new and sustained challenges, from driving retention to adapting to hybrid ways of working and everything in-between. Recognition is proving to be the best lever to pull to influence engagement, productivity, and advocacy,” says Achievers Chief Workforce Scientist Natalie Baumgartner. “An optimized program is critical to building a culture of recognition that starts at the top with people leaders and is supported and reinforced at every level. Recognition is a powerhouse engagement tool on many levels, and a strong culture of recognition can help retain talent by competing beyond salary and standard benefits and perks.”
How to drive results with recognition
Organizations with an optimized recognition platform report higher recognition rates and better business outcomes. There are four best practices to make the most of an employee recognition platform:
- Focus on both quality and quantity
This research demonstrates that recognition must be both frequent and meaningful. Organizations must focus on both to move the needle on engagement and retention.
- Recognize in the flow of work
Most employees want to recognize in the flow of work. An effective platform integrates with the HRIS, as well as the programs employees use every day such as Teams and Outlook.
- Proactively communicate to improve participation
An effective program includes ongoing training and communication to promote participation.
- Measure metrics that matter to the business
Tracking and monitoring program usage is a helpful indicator of a recognition program, but to demonstrate sustained impact to the business it’s necessary to capture and measure outcome metrics beyond the program, such as engagement and retention.
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