You Want To Drive Business Results, Start Appreciating Your People

by Angela Kambouris | Featured Contributor

The modern workforce is a changing workplace. Business in the 21st century must be collaborative and bottom up, rather than hierarchical and top-down, to thrive. Employee recognition is a must, not a should.

Over 65 percent of employees report that don’t feel recognized at work. The number one reason why employees quit is due to the lack of recognition. The Hay group, now known as Korn Ferry, referred that “companies with the most engaged employees report revenue growth at a rate 2.5X greater than their competitors”.

Employee recognition creates an infectious work culture that retains top talent and improves the customer experience. Recognition is an integral part of employee wellness, and the benefits supersede. Acknowledging the effort and not the outcome creates an opportunity for your people to keep pushing boundaries for your business and continue to be an actively engaged workforce.

Recognition is only impactful if it is in alignment with who you are. A sincerity and genuineness in what you say is the distinction. The employee experience must not feel like a computer-generated email. Any recognition communication must address – “Who is being recognized, who is recognizing them and what specific individual action or decision deserved the recognition.”

When you commit to delivering an extraordinary employee experience throughout the lifecycle of an employee, appreciation, and recognition will be the most significant factors that increase employee happiness and drive engagement. What an ROI.

Appreciation brings out the best in people and yet within the workplace appreciation is one of the key areas that organizations continue to disappoint their staff. When your employee appreciation ideas or practices suck, you need to create a new landscape. The infamous employee of the month plaque or the old bulletin board announcements in the break room quite frankly suck.

In today’s world, social platforms increase visibility for all to interact with celebrating success, sharing stories and guiding others. The beauty of the digital world has provided recognition moments in real time preventing the Chinese whispers.

Here are four ways to show your people that you appreciate and love them.

Celebrating in real time

Creating memorable moments for people is a rewarding experience. Celebrating a colleague for delivering an extraordinary presentation at an event provides opportunities for a selfie. A photo can be used to post on their social media platforms recognizing them for their achievement or perhaps recording a video message to post congratulating them on the impactful message you received from their presentation. When you add value to another human being by tapping into your personal touch, you are serving them with kindness and love.

Workplace blogging

A workplace blog is a brilliant way in real time to communicate your message, voice an opinion or challenge respectfully a view. It’s an opportunity to congratulate a colleague in real time. In today’s world, human being’s attention span is 8 second. One second less than a fish. Social recognition provides you the opportunity to maximize time and connect in real time.

Area of harmony

An investment and more in-depth understanding of your people, their needs and their lifestyles create a platform for flexibility to deliver results that permits the individual to work in a way that prioritizes work demands without sacrificing their wellness and productivity. When you listen to your people and invite conversations about inclusive work practices, culture changes.

Voting Tool

Adopt a voting tool that can capture company-wide voting, free-frame in real time moments as they celebrate people’s contributions as they happen. By empowering people to vote, they can shine a spotlight on people’s efforts in a timeframe that matters. eBallot, an online voting platform, engages all people company-wide and provides a platform for teams to establish a weekly election to spotlight a co-worker’s efforts.

Love Languages at work

The cultural phenomenon of the five love languages, specific to intimate relationships, was rebranded to fit within a workplace context specifically.  Appreciation at work was born to help build a culture where co-workers and management expressed recognition and appreciation at work. The five love languages included physical touch, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts and words of affirmation.

When applied in the workplace, touch referred to a ‘high five,’ or a congratulatory handshake in the context of celebration. When it comes to physical contact, it is essential to ensure the recipient grants permission. Quality time is providing your undivided attention, being fully present at the moment with your staff or co-worker. Acts of service are representative of collaborating on a project or assisting in getting a task done. Tangible gifts in the workplace are measured in the time someone gets to know you – exploring what they enjoy, inquiring about interests and aligning what you buy them with what is important to them. Words of affirmation encourage people. Whether it be a one to one statement or a public display, the value in the words and language used to affirm the other person.

By asking your people directly to identify their appreciation preferences creates an opportunity for managers or co-workers to celebrate them in alignment with who they are. Appreciation is a low cost and high impact.

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