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The importance of employee recognition

The word "recognition" refers to making someone feel acknowledged, valued, or appreciated. When done right, it can help boost employee morale, productivity, loyalty and engagement.

Employee recognition programmes are a great way to show your employees that you are paying attention to their efforts and accomplishments. But, if not done correctly, it can end up being more about the company than about the individual. A meaningful employee-recognition programme will focus on the unique aspects of each employee’s contributions and set goals that allow them to grow in their position. This will show employees that leaders are invested in their development and that they value their contributions to the company. Additionally, this type of programme will foster a sense of competition and camaraderie among employees, which can lead to increased productivity and engagement.

Nurturing the relationship between the company and its employees

Employee recognition is essential for every manager because appreciation motivates employees, helps to prevent turnover, and creates a sense of belonging. Most managers understand the importance of appreciating their employees, but not all know how to do it effectively. When done well, employee recognition can be a powerful tool for boosting morale and promoting an appreciative work environment.

1. Touch base early and often

When employees feel invisible, they can become demotivated and disengaged. Regularly asking employees how they’re doing and checking in with them about their goals and accomplishments tells them that leaders see them, value their contributions, and care about what matters in their lives

2. Offer balanced feedback

Feedback is one of the ways in which companies can stoke a sense of purpose, achievement and loyalty among their employees. For this reason, it should be a regular part of performance conversations. Feedback should include both appreciative and developmental feedback — specifically about what went well, as well as how an employee might improve. This way, employees will know what they’re doing right and where they have room to grow.

3. Address growth opportunities

One of the most powerful motivators is advancement. Employees want to know what the future holds for their careers, and they are much more likely to stay if they have opportunities to grow, learn new skills and take on greater responsibilities. When managers take time to explicitly discuss growth potential or provide opportunities for “stretch” assignments, employees interpret it as evidence that they’re valued. Conversely, when leaders neglect to address people’s development, employees take it as a sign that they are not being taken into consideration.

4. Enable flexibility

Flexibility and autonomy can do more than just inspire creativity, it can also improve retention. Leaders who offer employees the ability to work remotely or even simply suggest coming into work late after putting in extra hours are sending a signal that they trust and appreciate their people.

5. Create a habit

Showing appreciation for employees’ work is a key part of leadership. But the act of appreciating employees goes further than simply handing out rewards—it can help to cultivate the company culture and drive higher employee engagement. And it doesn’t take much to take advantage of the benefits: simply taking a few minutes to tell employees specifically what is valued about their contributions can have a tremendous impact.

A forward-thinking employee recognition programme has the power to make a real impact on employees and company culture. By leaning into volume, frequency, and value, you can create an effective programme that drives positive results in all areas of your business. At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering training and development that gives managers practical tools to help solve real-life challenges. We offer an extensive menu of courses, workshops, and coaching programs, ranging from communication skills to executive leadership development. In most cases, we design the interventions specifically for each client, but we also offer a wide range of off-the-shelf programs for those who prefer this approach. For more information about our programs please contact Simon at


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