There's some good news and bad news about the way companies recognize the efforts of their employees. Let's start with the good news - according to a survey by WorldatWork nearly nine out of ten businesses have some type of employee recognition program. This means that by far the majority of organizations understand that recognition is an essential part of doing business.
But now for the bad news. Gallup’s massive Q12 study continues to show that 70% of employees are are either disengaged at work or actively disengaged and undermining productivity.
Taken together, do these studies suggest that recognition does not lead to engagement? Or is there something else going on here? Of course we have to keep in mind that these are two different studies with different methodologies, but I think the numbers still add up when we look a little deeper into the WorldatWork survey. This group found that only 14% of organizations trained managers to support recognition efforts.
In order to be meaningful and effective, recognition has to be more than a t-shirt, a coffee mug or lunch on the company's dime. Effective recognition means paying attention to the effort employees put into their daily jobs and giving them credit for their work. This type of recognition doesn't always come easily or naturally. It needs to be part of an organization's business strategy at the highest levels and supported with training at the management level. When that happens the bottom line will tell you that you're doing it right.
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