Most companies believe pay and benefits are what's most important to their employees, after all, that's typically the greatest expense in the company budget. But research indicates it is often the simple, no- or low-cost behaviors that most instill value and pride on the part of employees, motivating them to want to do their best work possible.
Simple gestures can go a long way. What is important is to ask the employees the right questions: What makes you feel valued? How would you like to be recognised? What would inspire you?
“In my research the majority of the employees said they want to be recognised in specific meaningful ways when they've done a good job. But only 12% of employees say they actually get that where they work,” shared Dr. Bob Nelson, Leading Authority, Employee Recognition/Engagement, in his keynote at People Matters Total Rewards and Wellness Conclave.
Recognising employees is common sense, but not common practice
Most managers know it's important to appreciate people and make them feel valued. In fact, as per the research shared by Dr. Bob, 80% of the managers think they're good at making that connection. The average manager believes: ‘I'm always doing things for my people and thanking them.
But the truth is employees are not feeling valued. The gap exists because managers forget to appreciate the employees at the right time. The recognition must happen, right after a significant contribution has been made, right when the performance happens.
Additionally, the way you recognise the employees must be meaningful for them. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
How do your employees wish to be recognised?
Great news! Recognition and building human connection are not costly.
Dr Bob said, “Out of the top 10 dimensions that most drive, volume and energy and commitment from employees, the top 10 of them don’t cost a dime.”
Verbal praise, written note of thanks, electronic recognition, and public praise, there are a variety of ways in which employees wish to be recognised. Some would value it more if you appreciate their great work, in-person, others may like it if it is done in front of a group of people.
“In my research, 95% of employees said that they want, direct, honest, sincere, two-way communication,” added Dr Bob.
Employees wish to feel connected with their managers. In the flow of work, managers can ensure that they build and strengthen this connection. Involve employees in important decisions and discussions. Let them know their opinions matter. The process of asking employees about their thoughts and opinions, especially on decisions that affect them, will build more trust and help you to implement the decision more effectively.