The Issue

Organizations all over the country are struggling to find the secret to keeping their workforce intact. According to McKinsey & Company more than 19 million US workers have quit their jobs since April 2021, and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing. The reality is that today’s post pandemic workers need more than a paycheck to keep them in their current roles. And what they want is so basic it’s hard to believe that so many companies haven’t figured it out yet. Employees just want to have one very important emotional need fulfilled: the need to be recognized for the work that they do. In fact, 79 percent of employees who quit their jobs claim that a lack of appreciation was a major reason for leaving. (NBC

And yet 81 percent of leaders say recognition is not a major strategic priority for their organization. Part of the problem is that the idea of ‘emotional needs’ at work makes many in leadership a bit squeamish. Even though the reality is that emotional needs are like oxygen to an individual’s psyche. They aren’t just ‘nice to haves’. When these needs aren’t met, the desire to engage and produce dies. This should be Employee Engagement 101 because it’s a simple equation: Work – Unmet Emotional Needs = Disengagement. And the answer to this problem is just as simple: Work + Emotional Needs Met = Engagement 

Recognizing individuals for work that positively contributes to the overall health and wealth of a company isn’t difficult and it’s absolutely necessary to encourage employees to stay put. In addition, showing appreciation for work not only encourages people to stay with a company, but it also serves to improve the company culture. And since Brilliant People™ is all about improving culture, today we’re going to look at three simple ideas that companies can implement to help their employees feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions. 

Recognize by Offering Growth Opportunities

According to a recent survey by Deloitte of over 16,000 individuals, across organizational levels, generations, genders and Business Chemistry types, the most desired type of recognition is to be offered a new growth opportunity. Many employees are actually looking to grow and stay with their organization. So, being offered a way to improve is validating.

It shows that the employee is not only appreciated for their work but also that the employer feels they are capable of learning more and doing more. Professional development around personality, emotional intelligence, productive conflict, and team dynamics are excellent opportunities to improve the  individual but will also impact how they communicate and collaborate with both their peers and leadership. 

Recognize the Milestones

Another strategy to recognize employees is to publicly and privately celebrate milestones. These might include a birthday, an annual anniversary, meeting a team sales goal, or a promotion. Public announcements by the overall organization are important but it’s also crucial for managers to understand how their direct reports prefer to be recognized. We don’t all want the public calling of our name so that everyone else can clap.

Many would much prefer something as simple as a personal thank you note with genuine words of appreciation.  Recognizing milestones is something that matters to recent hires and the more seasoned employees alike. Anyone will feel special when the organization as a whole recognizes their commitment to the company’s values and bottom line.  

Recognize the Little Things

The last strategy we want to encourage is embracing the idea of micro-recognition. This differs from the macro-recognition of milestones because it’s unstructured, and should happen organically, individual to individual. Of course, this means that leadership, from the CEO down to the front line manager, must model this behavior for it to be ingrained in the culture of the organization. And when they do, it’s a beautiful thing. People who work together daily are in the best position to witness the efforts of their coworkers. This is true of the big wins but also the small daily things that are incredibly necessary, but can often go unrecognized. 

Recognition is the Answer

Whether you are a manager of a team or the CEO of a company, the effects of the Great Resignation are affecting your potential. So, take the necessary steps to keep the people that you value by showing them that they matter as individuals and that their work is critical to the success of the organization. After all, when employees feel appreciated, they’re more likely to be engaged at work. In fact, reports from the Society for Human Resource Management, show that 79 percent of the employees tend to work harder if there is an employee recognition program active in the workplace. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start showing some appreciation! 

Showing appreciation by offering professional development can be solved by Brilliant People™. We offer personality, emotional intelligence, productive conflict, and team training. Call us today!

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