Recognition: an incredible lever for boosting employee commitment

Recognition: an incredible lever for boosting employee commitment

Faced with a freeze on salary increases and the stubbornness of some managers to obstruct the democratisation of teleworking, getting employee engagement to take off seems like a waste of time. Fortunately, there is one measure that costs nothing and feels pretty damn good: recognition. Far from lending itself only to performance, recognition can reward with words, efforts made as well as positive behaviour. Continuous and regular feedback can boost performance and employee commitment. Like Michael Scott, the Dunder Mifflin stationery store manager on The Office, do you have that special someone? Of course you do: your employees.

The benefits of recognition or positive feedback

Recognition helps to boost performance and commitment internally while acting on talent retention. It allows you to celebrate a skill, to reward the efforts made by your teams, a strong involvement or a virtuous behaviour (participation, mutual aid, listening, highlighting the know-how of others). Regular and constructive, feedback canease tensions and above all avoid emotional escalation.  

It cannot be repeated often enough: a happy, fulfilled employee is more efficient and loyal . But be careful, if a duty of recognition is required, it must be done in the right way.

To be accepted and acceptable, all feedback must be :

  • personalized, 
  • precise,
  • sincere
  • factual. 

And, most importantly, it should not take the form of a judgment or interpretation. The best way to avoid this is to begin your wording with something like "I observed that... when you..."

Please note that, in the interests of fairness, all feedback should be adjusted according to the effort involved, the impact of the work on the project and the profile of the person concerned.

At the risk of dampening your expectations, you should know that official recognition in public is not such a good idea.

According to the Deloitte study "The Practical Magic of Thank You" (June 2019), only 18% of employees prefer public and expansive recognition.

So if you were counting on a Dundies-style award ceremony - like in The Office with wacky titles like Don't go in there after me award or Whiter sneaker award - to boost morale, forget it. On the other hand, if you think there's nothing like being in the spotlight to boost morale, you can opt for a public but collective recognition of your teams

As you can see, when it comes to rewarding an individual action or behaviour, it is best to offer intimate signs of recognition such as :

  • A personalized thank you message from the N+1 (paper or email),  
  • Recognition of an executive. This can take the form of an email, a lunch or even a coffee. 

The risks of lack of recognition

Before analysing the risks of a lack of recognition, let's go further by making a distinction between two elements: recognition and consideration. If recognition acts as a reward for a result or an effort, consideration remains a prerequisite in that it recognizes the role of an employee as a person AND as an employee. However, both can be lacking with disastrous results on individual commitment.

According to a January 2016 DARES study, lack of recognition triples the risk of illness and doubles depression among employees .

As you know, burnout, that endemic malaise, primarily affects employees who over-invest in their work without reaping the benefits. In their book The truth about burnout, Maslach and Leiter told The Conversation magazine that burnout is not a matter of the individual but of the work environment (and therefore of the culture). 

According to them, burnout is most likely to occur when there are cumulative dysfunctions in the degree of control, equal treatment, community spirit, workload or reward allocation .

The manager, a decisive figure in employee recognition 

A recent study by Elan Edelman reports that the French essentially - and even exclusively - trust their boss to provide positive energy and direction in the midst of a pandemic crisis. 

In this respect, the manager has his share of responsibility in the development of his employees . "Supporting and promoting" are the duties of any self-respecting manager towards his employees. 

However, as a saying we have discussed in the past, "you join a company, you leave a manager". From this point of view, many managers still share the misconception that the best reward is monetary.  

In doing so, the proper conduct of regular feedback as well as its proper use depends primarily on the behaviour of the manager .

Hence the need to equip yourself with an appropriate HR tool, capable of recalling the major professional meetings with each member of your team and making the data concerning them readable. In addition to its primary function of managing and planning interviews and other evaluations, the Elevo solution makes it easy to deploy 360° feedback actions

One element that should not be neglected - although it is rather of the elementary order of consideration - is to greet all the collaborators and a fortiori his team.

Every day begins with a good morning and necessarily ends with a good evening accompanied by the anticipation of a reunion (see you tomorrow, next week...). 

To avoid being accused of a blatant lack of empathy, it is advisable to show satisfaction in the event of a positive result. This can take the form of thanks, encouragement or congratulations. The best way to increase employee commitment and self-esteem is to remind and clarify the role and impact each employee has in the company's success. What could be more frustrating than not seeing the ins and outs of your work?

The satisfaction of the employee's need for recognition will also depend on the manager's degree of trust. Indeed, the autonomy granted to employees remains one of the most important signs of recognition. The other way is to involve employees more in strategic decision-making. 

Finally, another option is to share signs of gratitude. And what better way to do this than through peer-to-peer feedback. 

As you can see, Elevo's solution is a valuable ally in improving communication and boosting employee recognition. 

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Recognition: an incredible lever for boosting employee commitment

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