How recognition helps in retaining employees

Kailash Ganesh
6 min read
Recognizing the value of your employees is a crucial part of employee engagement

In any organization, there are always a few employees the leader can depend upon — if there’s a job to be done, then their go-to person will get it done with the minimal dependency on the leader. Then again, it is this employee who would most likely be overlooked when it comes to company-wide recognition or employee awards.

This is the story at every organization, of almost every hardworking employee. The ones that get the job done are often taken for granted and not even considered for the recognition they deserve so well. The employees that tend to get more attention are those who aren’t consistent and dedicated performers, but the ones who tend to do an amazing job once in a blue moon. They are celebrated during meetings and outings while the consistent performers, who are just too busy doing their jobs than to chase after recognition, tend to get sidetracked.

But the question is, do these consistent performers deserve to be overlooked by the unpredictable performers?

Here is how we differentiate great leaders from good leaders:

Great leaders know that consistency is the key to success. Without consistency, no business can thrive. Most leaders know this in theory but fail to implement it through their leadership roles. Research suggests that most leaders function in this similar fashion — promoting employees who have improved or show sudden bouts of high performance, rather than employees who have always been consistent.

Leaders must realize that their failure to recognize and appreciate consistent performers leads to demotivation and low productivity. When employees don’t get their due recognition, they start looking outside the company while planning their career growth  — losing a dedicated employee can be very expensive for companies. HRs often spend weeks and sometimes months trying to find a suitable replacement. Salary and perks can be negotiated, but skill and talent can’t, which leads recruiting teams to either lower their expectations or expand their budgets.

The search for employees that matter

The first step to avoiding such problems is to recognize and value the dedicated employees in the company. Only by giving them the recognition they deserve, can a leader strengthen the company and drive innovation and success. The process of looking out for consistent top achievers is an ongoing process — it requires daily observations, informal analysis, and most importantly, close collaboration.

There are certain traits that most dedicated employees showcase over time. And as a good leader, you must learn to look for these qualities actively, whether in a crowded boardroom or an internal meeting.

  • A dedicated employee believes in the company and sees the company more than just as a source of their paycheck. S/he is very unlikely to abandon if the company gets in trouble. They would rather help the company overcome the hurdle and focus on growth.
  • Reliability is an important value in any employee and they build their reputation of being reliable over time. Such employees take their jobs seriously and tend to finish their tasks in a timely manner. They are always available when it comes to helping their team members and finishing a project or campaign they start instead of giving up midway.
  • Thinking beyond one’s prescribed job description and taking initiatives in the workplace is a valuable trait in any employee. Coming up with unique ideas to drive more growth or improve customer service even if they are not part of the defined job role, says a lot about the employee. It shows that s/he is willing to do more; it signifies their passion both for the job and the company.
  • Valuable employees are generally action-oriented. It means, they don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk — they deliver what they promise. This is an exceptionally important trait, especially in a startup where innovations and creative ideas are critically important. Just coming up with good ideas is never enough until someone actually executes it. With growing competition everywhere, it has to be executed fast.
  • A good attitude says a lot about an individual, especially at the workplace. Being talented is good, but if it comes garnished with arrogance then it does not matter. Many times, highly skilled employees tend to display a negative attitude towards their colleagues which brings the entire team or company’s morale down. Being decent and honest at the workplace also count as they help the team inculcate positive traits and build transparency too. In addition to this, having a fun, energetic, and empathetic attitude is what makes an employee easy to work with, leading to more collaboration and innovation within the company.
Constant recognition motivates the employees and increases their productivity

Once a leader recognizes an employee with such qualities, s/he must applaud their effort and work. The act of acknowledging these qualities in an employee helps instill a positive atmosphere in the company — it tells everyone that you value quality over anything else and motivates everyone to do more.

Instilling a culture of commitment, not breakups

Gone are the days when employees would stay in one company throughout their career even if they felt unseen and unappreciated. In the present times, employees expect to be treated fairly and valued for the effort they are putting in. The relationship between an employer and employee is built on trust and commitment from both parties. Just as an employee gives in their best, an employer or leader is expected to keep the employee’s best interests in mind as well.

If a leader fails to appreciate an employee’s skills and effort, the employee is highly unlikely to stay in the company for long. Therefore, it becomes imperative that leaders and HRs try their best to retain their most valuable assets.

It's important for leaders to build a rapport with their employees and recognize their efforts

Companies must integrate retention values in their company culture, only then can all levels of leaders hold on to their most valuable teammates.

Adopting the following approaches will help companies improve and increase their retention rate:

  • Maintain a personalized approach

An employee-first company always listens to what their employees need and helps them overcome their bottlenecks. A leader cannot expect their employees to give in their best without paying attention to the employee’s growth. Ignoring your employee’s interests is a guaranteed way of losing their trust and commitment.

An intelligent leader approaches each employee individually, tries to establish a rapport with each team member, which in turn makes it easier for the employees to approach them.

CultureMonkey’s autopilot surveys  — based on an employee’s life cycle in the company and their group — allow HRs to create surveys with personalized questions. This helps HRs and leaders understand what each employee needs and values. The act of reaching out to each employee to understand them displays a much-needed empathetic attitude which is the need of the hour.

  • Bring inclusivity into your workplace

Most employees often feel lost in the crowd, especially in the case of large companies. Employees who aren’t socially outgoing, find it difficult to approach those in authoritative positions directly. This often leads to disparity and makes the employee feel unimportant.

Engaging with your team and listening to what they have to say will create an atmosphere of inclusivity

If and when an employee feels unheard at the workplace, they tend to digress from the company and its community. It neither helps the company nor the employee in question. In fact, this is a clear indication of a lack of emotional connection between the employee and the company as well as a sign that the company has failed to build a more inclusive culture.

To ease the process of approaching the authority and addressing one’s issues correctly, CultureMonkey has designed anonymous feedback that allow employees to question their leaders or bring up concerns that might be bothering them but are mostly ignored or overlooked by the larger workforce population. This will not only help build more trust in the company, but also a transparent culture where everyone is equally important.

  • Show your employees that you care

In most cases, employees do not approach their leaders fearing how the company’s C-suite will react, or won’t take action to solve their problems. This is generally a result of assumption or a leftover of previous experiences that instills such behavior in employees.

Employees need to know that management takes their problems and queries seriously and will guarantee action. Keeping track of multiple queries in a medium or large company becomes difficult which in turn leads to loss of valuable employee inputs, and a loss of faith and trust in the company.

CultureMonkey’s survey insights help company leaders to take action based on employee feedback. This employee engagement platform also allows HRs and leaders to prioritize issues, collaborate with team members and stakeholders, as well as track progress on each issue. This not only helps the employee trust the company and its leaders but also ensures a culture of empathy in the company.

Remember, your employees are your greatest assets; when you fail them, you fail your company.

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash is a Product Marketer with 5+ years of experience. He loves story-telling in the simplest way possible and he is an avid reader, movie buff, and likes to travel new places to meet new people.