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Workplace Recognition: 5 Ways to Motivate your Employees

By February 22, 2024No Comments4 min read

Recognition and acknowledgement of an employee’s hard work is a big deal in the workplace. Without it, motivation suffers, productivity drops, and as a result, so too does a company’s profitability.

According to a recent study by Dan Ariely, social scientist and New York Times bestselling author, “When we are acknowledged for our work, we are willing to work harder for less pay, and when we are not acknowledged, we lose much of our motivation.” A 2017 workplace survey by Gallup discovered that 85% of employees are “not engaged or are actively disengaged at work.” The financial effect of this is HUGE: “The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.”

Rewards and recognition can solve this problem. According to an Incentive Research Foundation report, “the vast majority of top performing companies (93%) reported their executives are not just willing to carry out rewards and recognition to remain competitive, but are strong supporters of non-cash rewards and recognition as a competitive advantage for the organization.” However, only three in 10 U.S. employees feel that they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week. Clearly, there is a difference in perception between employees and management/executives. Gallup research points out that “Employees who feel adequately recognized are half as likely as those who don’t to say they’ll quit in the next year.” Organizations with higher than average levels of employee engagement realized 27% higher profits, 50% higher sales, 50% higher customer loyalty levels, and 38% above-average productivity.

So what can you do to motivate and recognize your employees? Here are five ways.

Create Attainable Goals

Competition can be a powerful motivator. Offering incentives and rewards for reaching measurable results can be a great way to help push your salespeople and other employees to new heights. But make sure these goals are realistic and attainable, or else your motivating technique may have the opposite effect!

Publicly Recognize Employees

Recognizing the hard work and achievements of your employees in a work-wide meeting or corporate event is doubly motivating, because it not only is rewarding for that specific employee, but it also provides inspiration to coworkers. Create a workplace culture that values performance, both individually and as a team. Recognizing hard work and performance can strengthen belonging in the workplace and create an emotional bond with your employees. Celebrate corporate achievements, employee anniversaries, holidays, and more.

Offer Rewards/Awards That Matter

Not every employee is the same, but every employee likes to be rewarded! Reward employees for their loyalty, commitment, and hard work by giving them a gift or incentive that matters. A prepaid incentive program, offered in either cash or points that convert to cash, is one great option. A company-branded card lets your employees buy what they want, when then want. The cards are easy to use, and they can be reloaded whenever you want to send another reward. Since the cards can be used anywhere Visa® is accepted, your employees can pick virtually any reward the want. Offering this near-endless selection of rewards will show your employees that you recognize their individuality and their unique needs. Talk about covering all your bases!

Employee Empowerment

Give your employees a say about their job. Ask for their input, and see if they have any ideas on how they can improve their performance or be more efficient. Most employees will have these kinds of thoughts, but will be hesitant to share them with you unless you ask. And remember: don’t just ask–to properly empower and motivate your employees you actually have to take their advice and implement it. Give them authority to make some of their own decisions, and you will have a smarter, more determined, and more loyal workforce.

Training, Education, and Development

Your business should want your employees to be the best and most highly skilled that they can be. Investing in career development is important to employees at all levels, from entry level workers to executives. Help your employees with academic opportunities and professional certificates, and recognize their desire for self-improvement to build their trust and gain their loyalty.

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