In “The Importance of Employee Recognition — Part I,” we outlined the benefits of recognizing a job well done. Still, there are many cynics who question the validity of improvement in profitability when an organization implements a recognition scheme. In “The Importance of Employee Recognition — Part II,” we will cite three examples of measurable improvement in profitability and offer ways you can give employee recognition.
Measuring the direct impact of an employee recognition scheme on profitability is difficult as it is only one factor among many that influences employees in a workplace. That being said, many case studies have shown benefits to an organization’s bottom line that have been achieved through employee recognition schemes. One example is the Walt Disney World Resort. When the Walt Disney World Resort implemented an employee recognition program with immediate supervisors recognizing their employee’s day-to-day efforts, staff satisfaction increased by 15%. The result of increased staff satisfaction was highly correlated with high guest-satisfaction scores. Guests demonstrated a strong intent to return resulting in increased profits.
Similar results occurred at Sears, Roebuck & Co. Sears discovered for every 5% increase in employee attitude scores, there was a 1-3% increase in customer satisfaction that resulted in a 0.5% increase in revenues.
Unfortunately, actively disengaged and disgruntled employees cost companies nearly 10% of the US Gross Domestic Product annually. This includes workplace injury, illness, employee turnover, fraud and absences. When morale is low, one of the best ways to change employee attitudes in the workplace is recognizing positive behavior with ASAP Awards.
Employee recognition doesn’t have to be the public relations department’s responsibility. If you are a manager or supervisor, you could begin spontaneously praising your team. This is highly effective because for many employees receiving a sincere thank you is more important than receiving a tangible item. There are all sorts of ways to express this recognition. Whether through personal, written, electronic or public praise, employees enjoy recognition from those they respect in the workplace. Especially when it’s done in a timely, specific and sincere way.
The most important type of recognition is what the Disney World Resort uses — day-to-day recognition. With day-to-day recognition, immediate and powerful reinforcement of desired behavior shows other employees what best meets organizational objectives. Not only are employees and teams given the opportunity to recognize good work done by other employees and teams, they are also recognized on the spot for their own good work.
Part of being a good manager is being alert for opportunities to recognize and praise others. The best way to recognize an employee for his or her efforts is by thanking the person by name. Specifically describe what they did that is being recognized. Specifying their actions identifies and reinforces the desired behavior. You’ll also want to express how their actions made you feel. Especially if you felt a sense of pride or respect for what they have accomplished. Identify the value their behavior added to the team and organization and conclude by thanking them by name again for their contribution.