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4 minute read

Is Your Work Culture Centred on Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is a critical driver for engagement at work, which runs in tandem with other factors. We take you through how you can establish a culture of recognition at work.

Employee recognition is a crucial component of a positive and productive work environment.

By acknowledging and rewarding employees for their hard work and contributions, employers can boost morale, increase job satisfaction and promote retention.

In today’s competitive job market, recognising and valuing employees has become more important than ever. From simple verbal recognition to formal awards programmes, there are many ways to show appreciation and motivate employees to perform at their best.

According to the 2023 Employee Experience Trends by global firm Qualtrics, Singapore’s employee engagement score — at 67%. This is one of the lowest in Southeast Asia.

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Only 31% of workers share that their expectations are being met. This is lower compared to the global average of 39%. Whatsmore? New hires reported more negative employee experience and, not surprisingly, scored higher on the intent to leave.

What’s assuring to note is that 86% of workers feel motivated to go the extra mile as long as company values align with theirs. The top metrics of this include caring for employee well-being and enabling work-life balance, employee engagement and inclusion.

This was evident in the recent recognition given to the best employers in Singapore, where employers took key steps to take care of their employees’ well-being beyond the work setting.

Providing for their employees is indeed important to foster a positive work culture — employees are cared for each day and come to work knowing that they have their superiors and fellow teammates to rely upon when they need help. What completes this experience is timely employee recognition.

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the act of acknowledging and rewarding an employee’s hard work, contributions and achievements in the workplace. There are many types of recognition;

  • Verbal recognition
  • Handwritten notes of praise
  • Monetary rewards
  • Gift cards
  • Promotions
  • Public recognition ceremonies for outstanding performance

Why is employee recognition so important?

Employee recognition is important because it can boost employee morale, increase job satisfaction and promote retention, as well as encourage productivity and engagement.

Recognising and valuing employees’ efforts can also foster a positive work culture and help build a sense of community within the organisation.

Employee recognition is an important aspect of creating a fulfilling and motivating work environment that benefits both employees and employers.

These drive the growth of a positive workplace culture that talents want to be a part of. This means lower employee turnover and continued progress.

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What is meaningful recognition at work?

Undoubtedly, employee appreciation is essential in any workplace and significantly contributes to employee retention rates. In fact, employees are more likely to leave a company due to a lack of appreciation.

Appreciation is fundamental to any human — one gets confirmation, through recognition, that his/her work is being valued and that it plays a big role in organisational success.

With consistent recognition, employers can create a culture of appreciation among employees who are more willing to believe that their employers find their contributions significant to the company.

In other words, they are critical actors for organisational growth, and they come to work every day knowing that their work is important.

Having a work culture centred on recognition allows to further strengthen the workforce. Knowing that their employers appreciate their work even in times of crises or uncertainties is good motivation for employees to press on towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

How do you give recognition to an employee?

There are several ways to give recognition to an employee. Building a culture of appreciation requires team effort, involving peers, supervisors and top leaders.

Consider these as part of your employee recognition programmes:

1. Peer-to-peer

Employees with good working relationships feel more committed and empowered at work. Akin to a ‘second family’, having great co-workers by their side helps them look forward to working each day.

Taking this a notch higher is inculcating a culture of peer recognition where teammates commend one another on their achievements, those that may have gotten unnoticed by their immediate managers.

One way companies can foster this is by providing employees with a platform for ease of communication.

For instance, an internal social media account such as Facebook’s Workplace app connects employees across all departments just like a regular Facebook account.

Members can upload commendations or wishes for fellow employees online for the rest to see and who will then further recognise the achievements.

Such informal methods of employee recognition can go a long way in building a positive work culture on the ground.

Peer recognition is helpful for large companies with multiple teams and departments working on the ground.

These include technology firms working on projects at client sites away from their direct supervisors. Teams with remote employees who engage in lesser physical day-to-day interactions with managers will also benefit from this form of company culture.

2. Supervisor-to-team

One of the best ways to create a culture of appreciation among employees is to lead by example.

Supervisors or senior leaders who oversee teams can observe their team members’ progress and actively recognise their hard work over the months or years.

Employees who are commended and receive positive feedback from their supervisors will feel appreciated and valued and are more likely to stay on the job.

This culture of appreciation can empower their co-workers to work as hard and make them feel proud of their work.

There are various ways to execute this. Consider monthly team gatherings to recognise top-performing members, or even messages of encouragement or appreciation on a daily basis to empower members every day.

3. Leaders-to-employees

Organisations can also provide formal recognition to well-deserving teams or individuals to reward them for their contributions and performance.

This offers a sense of pride to employees or teams who feel valued for the work they have done for the company.

Such forms of employee recognition can occur by way of annual events, where the company rewards teams for successful projects and individuals on their yearly performance or even recognise their long service with the organisation.

Frequent recognition through monetary employee rewards such as one-off payouts and gift cards can serve as a positive reinforcement of their work.

Why not start today and show your appreciation to entire teams across the company?

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