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Dora Wang (1 Posts)

Dora Wang

Dora is a Content Marketing Specialist at TINYpulse who writes and researches about ways to make employees happier. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

3 Must-Haves for Employee Recognition

One of the best ways to keep the talent you’ve got is to appreciate them.


Employee recognition isn’t just a perk that creates warm, fuzzy feelings. It has real effects on your company’s retention and results. Take a look at the findings from Socialcast, SHRM and Globoforce:

  • 69% of employees say they’d work harder if their efforts were better appreciated
  • Employees with managers who provide recognition are 14-19% more engaged than other employees
  • Companies with strategic recognition had a turnover rate 23.4% lower than companies without any recognition program

Unfortunately, according to TINYpulse’s Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report, just 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work. That means nearly four-fifths of the workplace is at risk for weaker motivation, lower engagement, and higher turnover.

If you haven’t developed a recognition program — or need to improve the one you’ve got — make sure that the tool you use accomplishes these three goals:

1. Makes recognition flow freely

Our internal data shows that only 30% of employees received any kind of recognition from their bosses during the past two weeks. But a great employee recognition program means showing appreciation all the time, not just once a year during the annual performance review. You must be able to recognize efforts both big and small, whether it’s closing a major deal or a simple act of generosity that brightens a coworker’s day. Small efforts add up to great feats. This means that your recognition tool must allow for giving kudos at any time, not just on a set schedule. And giving praise should be easy! That way appreciation can happen even during the busiest days.

2. Creates authentic appreciation

Effective recognition must feel genuine to your employees. Anything that comes off as forced or rote is just going to tank motivation instead of boosting it. Your gestures should be organic and tailored to the individual employee. So don’t just hand everyone a Starbucks gift card and call it good. Monetary rewards certainly have their time and place, but true appreciation of an employee’s efforts will be far more meaningful than an extra 10 bucks. One of our recent reports showed that “Money and benefits” are far down the list of what motivates workers to excel. In fact, nearly twice as many are motivated by “Feeling encouraged and recognized.”

3. Allows peers to recognize each other

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be a manager-employee relationship. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Badgeville found that 76% of employees find peer recognition “very or extremely motivating.” Remember how we said that money wasn’t the top motivator for employees to excel? That honor goes to the employees’ peers. Camaraderie inspires them to go the extra mile for each other. Peer-to-peer recognition is a win for everyone involved. Employees get to thank their teammates for what they do. Supervisors get help with providing recognition — especially since coworkers often notice great work that managers don’t get the chance to see. And your workforce feels even more appreciated.

Employee recognition is a self-feeding cycle where workers feel motivated to keep doing the great work that gets them appreciation. Take advantage of this dynamic by using a tool that unleashes its full potential.