If you want to get the most from your employees, you need to rethink your workplace culture. The UK workforce is suffering from an engagement crisis. It’s estimated that 85% of our nation’s workers aren’t engaged in their jobs. Or, worse still, they’re actively disengaged. And where there’s poor levels of engagement, poor productivity can only follow. That means poor profitability, low margins and an untenable future for businesses.
What’s more, this isn’t the kind of problem that businesses can just throw money at.
Compensation simply isn’t enough to motivate and engage employees who have become disengaged — not in an era where a growing proportion of the workforce values workplace culture over compensation. You need to be able to deliver the kind of workplace culture that inspires and motivates employees while also bringing them together. It’s about taking action and implementing strategies.
Many employers assume that compensation and reward are the only motivational tools that they need. But this mentality overlooks the most powerful motivator of all: recognition.
Employee recognition is the key to driving productivity and helping employees feel engaged with their work. In a recent Psychometrics test, 58% of professionals pointed to ‘employee recognition as a mechanism to help them feel more valued when asked how their employers could improve engagement.
It doesn’t take much to draw the line between engagement and productivity, either. According to Proofhub, 69% of employees admitted they would work harder if they felt that their efforts were better appreciated by their employers.
As such, an employee recognition programme is absolutely essential in creating a workplace where employees feel valued and that their contributions (of whatever size or shape) are appreciated.
What does an employee recognition programme look like?
Of course, it’s one thing saying that you’re going to recognise employees and another thing altogether to distil employee recognition into a formal system. Fortunately, as in all things, digital technology can come to the rescue with a handy app.
Employee recognition platforms are apps that look and interface just like social media platforms. The difference is that instead of creating a distraction, these applications actually make it quick and easy to implement a culture of recognition in your workplace.
Here’s how it works:
Managers can post messages congratulating teams or individuals on their achievements.
Any achievement can be shared and celebrated in this way, from smashing a sales target to mentoring a new addition to the team.
Employees can “like” and comment on these posts just like any social media post.
Peers can also write posts about each other, ensuring that employee recognition doesn’t just trickle down from management. Instead, it’s embraced at all levels.
As you can see, these platforms can be an elegant solution when it comes to making employee recognition tangible and easy to implement in daily operations.
Don’t let the app do all the work
As useful as these platforms can be, however, that doesn’t mean that there’s no place for something as low-tech as a sincere thank you to an employee for a job well done. 50% of employees believe that when their managers thank them, it improves their relationship and builds trust with their higher-ups.
Nobody wants to preside over a company culture with a “them and us” mentality.
2. Core values
Your company’s core values are vital, not only because they determine your priorities, but they also help solidify your organisation’s identity and brand. Your core values shape your company’s overall vision, making it easier to reach your business goals. You need to ensure that your core values reflect your workplace culture. But how do you ensure your employees are on the same page?
Its all about making your company principles known — they need to be communicated throughout the organisation, making it easier for employees to perpetuate these values. Employee recognition can help drive and shape this.
How your recognition programme can reinforce core values
It gives you the opportunity to identify, share and celebrate moments where employees embody your brand’s core values. After all, there’s far more to achievement in your workplace than closing deals and making money. Every time an employee embodies your core values in their interactions with a customer, in their interactions with their peers or even in the context of training and development, your recognition programme allows you to laud it as an example of how to do things your way.
Their peers will see this and use it as an example which they can emulate.
3. The ability to progress
Nobody wants to keep doing the same job and repeating the same processes year after year. You’ve taken the time to recruit, onboard and train a fiercely talented team. Why wouldn’t you want to nurture their development and progression within your organisation?
One thing’s for sure, development is a high priority for most employees. A Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials (and 69% of non-millennials) view development as important in their jobs. And if they don’t get it from you, it’s only a matter of time before they seek it from your competitors.
Training and development
Employee training can be disruptive and costly to implement, but it’s a great way to show your employees that you’re invested in them. Not only does it imbue them with new skills and solidify the ones they already have, it demonstrates your commitment to their wellbeing in work inside and outside of their current role.
Ideally, every employee should have their own Continual Professional Development programme which provides them with the knowledge, skills and opportunity to achieve their career goals.
Promotion and lateral progression
Employees want to be able to progress inside your company, and it’s up to you to ensure that they have opportunities to do so. What’s more, you should be willing to take the time to help them prepare for interviewing for and transitioning into new job roles.
Your employee recognition platform can even help you out in the field of employee progression, too. It can allow you to create and share knowledge quizzes and bite-sized learning modules which can be consumed on employees’ mobile devices during their lunch break or at home. Moreover, they can be used to advertise internal vacancies and congratulate employees on ascending their own personal career ladders within your organisation.
Create a workplace culture that fits your organisation
With the right employee recognition scheme, you can create a workplace culture that ensures employees at all levels feel valued by managers and one another. A culture that brings your core values to life and saves your business from high turnover rates and the disruption, expense and compromised quality of customer service that come with them.
When you use an employee recognition platform, you have a means by which you can drive engagement and keep your team together for longer.