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Amplifying Employee Engagement with Recognition and Connectivity

3 Mins read

As the Great Resignation continues to persuade workers to seek more fulfilling and satisfying work, the question of how organizations can improve their employees’ levels of engagement has received more widespread attention. Employers have begun realizing they need to find new and effective ways to bolster employee engagement and improve their retention rates. 

There are a lot of theories on how exactly to stoke the fires of engagement among workers, such as offering more remote work opportunities to employees, and leaving behind the initiative to make every Friday “Pizza Friday” in the office. While they’re both good ideas, studies show that recognition programs and initiatives that encourage connectivity are most effective in creating teams of highly engaged employees who report high levels of job satisfaction.

The importance of employee engagement

A highly engaged team brings a ton of benefits with it. For one, a company whose culture fosters engagement is far more likely to show higher levels of job satisfaction among its employees. If the Great Resignation showed us anything, it’s that many people were unhappy with their jobs and eventually acted on that unhappiness by looking for more satisfying work elsewhere.

Engaged workers feel a connection to their jobs and the work they perform. They are more willing to be on a career-growth track and more apt to be productive than their unengaged peers. Engaged employees are the ones who will go above and beyond, share creative ideas, and, as recent studies show, are more team and goal-oriented. You’ll see this translate to success across the organization, specifically when it comes to improving talent retention.

How recognition helps engagement

Wanting to receive recognition for a job well done is just human nature. Few of us could work at a job for very long and remain happy and engaged if no one ever noticed and appreciated the work we did. Employees need to know that their work matters, is appreciated, and makes an impact on the bigger picture.

While worries surrounding the Great Resignation may not be as prominent today as they were in the past couple of years, the competition to attract and retain top talent remains as fierce as ever. This makes creating a culture of employee recognition imperative for organizational leaders and executives. Recognition is not only used to acknowledge a job well done, but to motivate other team members, reinforce corporate values and mission, and create a collaborative team environment where everyone feels the pull to work together toward a common goal.

A recent study shows that organizations with formal recognition initiatives have 31% less turnover and are 12 times more likely to have significant positive business outcomes. The same study also shows that recognition is the top driver of employee engagement. When leadership places a high priority on employee recognition, they show that they understand that employees are the organization’s backbone and value their people.

In recent years, companies have shifted to a more employee-focused culture, with more robust DEI initiatives and programs for recognition, promotion, and praise. The positive results of these moves have proven to be statistically significant.

Employee connectivity

With heightened engagement comes better company connectivity between team members. The pandemic sent many people working remotely — some for good — causing connectivity between employees to suffer in many workplaces as they struggled to weather unprecedented times. While many people have welcomed the flexibility that comes with the rise of more remote and hybrid work situations, leaders have expressed concern about maintaining company culture and connected teams.

Encouraging meaningful connection, collaboration, and socialization between team members is crucial if organizational leaders hope to keep employees highly engaged. In today’s tech-informed workplace, there are plenty of tools available that can help employers keep remote employees connected. Video conferencing, recognition software programs that allow employees and leadership to recognize one another, and messaging platforms such as Slack have allowed companies to keep the fires of connectivity lit, even among the most remote teams.

Recognition and connection go hand in hand when companies are looking for ways to improve employee engagement and retention.

How to recognize employees

Recognizing employees can happen in several ways, but the important part of any initiative is simply making the effort. Using an employee recognition program that promotes regular, genuine recognition is the best route to go, but finding any way to appreciate your people on a frequent basis will do. Offering continuing education and personal development opportunities also shows employees that you care about their career trajectory and well-being.

The more companies recognize the importance of employee engagement and connected work culture, the more recognition programs will grow in popularity. An effective employee recognition program can help companies grow cohesive teams, increase productivity, and retain top talent in an uncertain labor market.

Everyone likes to be recognized for who they are and what they do. Focus on tapping into the magic of recognition and, in return, you can likely expect happier and more engaged employees.

Logan Mallory is the Vice President of Marketing at the leading employee engagement and recognition software, Motivosity. Mallory is a public speaker, professor, and thought leader on culture and leadership in the workplace to achieve employee retention. Motivosity helps companies promote gratitude and connection in today’s digital era of work.

Employee engagement stock image by fizkes/Shutterstock

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