Employee recognition (or lack thereof) affects job satisfaction in several different ways. Generally speaking, low job satisfaction is indicative of poor recognition. When employees aren't recognized by their employer, they may have a negative attitude towards their job and the company as a whole. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how employee recognition impacts job satisfaction.
Let's first discuss what exactly is “employee recognition,” as some people are likely hearing this term for the first time. Employee recognition is a blanket term used to describe the acknowledgment and appreciation of an employee's work. Far too many employers assume that a paycheck is enough to keep their employees happy and engaged. While this may work for some employees, other crave recognition from their peers. Failing to deliver this recognition can have disastrous consequences, some of which includes higher employee turnover rates, lower productivity, lower morale, etc.
A study published in the International Journal of Business and Management found recognition to have a significant impact on employee motivation. Researchers from the Canadian Center of Science and Education found employees to be more motivated when they are rewarded and recognized for their work, which of course translates into a higher level of job satisfaction.
“The statistical analysis showed that different dimensions of work motivation and satisfaction are significantly correlated, and reward and recognition have great impact on motivation of the employees. Implications of the study for managers and policy makers in the context of human resource practices have been discussed. Limitations and guidelines for future research are also provided,” wrote researchers from the Canadian Center of Science and Education.
Employees who don't receive recognition or appreciation from their peers are more likely to feel dissatisfaction in regards to their job. This can open up a whole world of new problems, some of which are obvious while others are not so obvious. For instance, the employee may call out sick more often, work more slowly, or fail to handle his or her professional responsibilities.
The good news is that employers can improve employee recognition and job satisfaction in just a few easy steps. One of the easiest and most effective forms of recognition is an employee-of-the-month program. As the name suggests, this program is characterized by the designation of a single employee each month, whom receives acknowledgment and a reward for his or her hard work. Be sure to check out our previous post here for more information on how to create an employee-of-the-month program from scratch.