Gallup Research completed a study over 30 years which included 17 million workers regarding employee engagement. They found that there are 12 factors that comprise employee engagement. If you want to learn more, checkout their book (“12 Elements of Great Managing“).
One of the 12 elements was based on employee appreciation. They expressed this as the following question:
In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
This subject is especially important to me because I feel that employee appreciation is one of the greatest shortcomings in business today. As I think about my 20+ year career, I am sad to say that most managers that I have worked for did a poor job in this area. Typically, I’ve received the bulk of any sort of feedback during my annual review. If any sort of praise was given, it was often very generic (“good job on that project”) which isn’t very helpful.
Recognizing employees doesn’t take a great deal of time and can cost no money. You don’t have to take them out to lunch, buy them a gift card, etc. to show your appreciation. More than anything, I believe employees just want to know how they are doing. Therefore, a simple note or short conversation can be used to recognize the employee.
Personally, my biggest challenge has been the discipline of doing this on a regular basis. Even though I scored high (85% agreed) on a recent employee engagement survey regarding employee recognition, I know I can do better.
How have you recognized employees? How have you developed the habit of recognizing employees on a regular basis?