Did you know that 80% of the working population cannot be motivated into happiness and engagement through money alone? 50% of them want opportunities to prove themselves and build future careers, while the other half hope to feel connected emotionally to their team or brand. Well, what if praise was the simplest and most effective way to achieve this? In fact, recognising and openly appreciating your employees, goes a very long way when it comes to company performance. Here’s how:
The facts of the matter
Research shows that highly engaged staff are 2,6 times more likely to work in companies with peer recognition programs. Another key finding shows that spending just 1% of payroll on staff recognition programs, can result in an 85% positive return engagement. In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform other businesses without them, by a whopping 202%. This is because intrinsically employees want to work hard for people who see their worth.
Why is positive feedback and praise so vital?
According to a recent Gallup survey, fewer than one-third of American workers received praise from their manager in the previous week and over 65% hadn’t been praised in the past year. This is bad for business Why is that? Well, it actually comes down to chemistry: When the brain feels good, it releases Dopamine. This is similar to oxytocin which is known as the love hormone. These chemicals flood the brain when it receives positive feedback and recognition. Meaning that the very best way to get people to function at a high level is to reward them with ‘good feelings’. In other words, you should be consistently rewarding your team often in order to see them thrive. This reward then intrinsically embodies recognition, purpose and autonomy.
How can praise positively affect a workplace?
Research shows that if a staff member says they were given recognition for a task, there is a 20 – 30% increase in revenue or productivity. And those who do not receive praise are more likely to want to terminate their employment. Overall, praising employees boosts morale, reinforces positive behaviour, and encourages job satisfaction and job performance. This in turn has a knock-on effect on the larger team who witness the recognition and general contribution publicly. They will most likely want the same for themselves and will be motivated to achieve it. This propagates a healthy cycle of recognition and increased performance in the business.
How do you implement praise into your company culture?
Action praise quickly
Encourage management to give positive feedback quickly. This is better than an “employee of the month” strategy where staff must wait for recognition which may or may not occur. Rather, it should be done in real-time, at the moment the praiseworthy action took place. This will build a bond and increase productivity.
Keep it genuine
By creating milestones for staff and then congratulating them for achieving these results, recognition will feel genuine and measurable.
When staff do well, let upper leadership know about it. Providing recognition beyond the walls of your immediate department promotes positive behaviour and gets results.
Pass it on
This works both ways, so when praise comes to your team from outside of the department, don’t let the buck stop with you. Rather share it with the team. This shows your staff that their hard work is noticed and valued all the way up the supply chain.
The bottom line
Praising employees isn’t just a nice-to-have in a company culture. Rather, it is a serious contributor to overall company performance. When staff feel valued, they feel good and want to do even more to regain that feeling. This may be as simple as giving kudos when its due and educating management on the value of praise. When praise is genuinely implemented it results in staff who feel valued, it generates higher turnover, and results in a powerful culture that motivates their people to generate healthy work ethics, from the inside out.