How HR Creates a Culture of Recognition

March 16th, 2017 by

When you take into consideration the high cost of turnover and its disruptive impact on the business, it should get you thinking about your own recognition strategies. How can you expect employees to stay at your organization if they’re not getting the appreciation they deserve?

We all know that retention is closely tied to recognition. Employees want to work for an organization that not only values their work but also shows them appreciation. Accordingly, there is a strong relationship between recognition and likelihood to stick around at the job.

We also understand that praise sways the perception of the work environment. No one wants to work at a place that ignores its employees. Here again, there is a positive link between recognition and an employee’s perception of the workplace.

Finally, a healthy employee-supervisor relationship relies on some sort of positive recognition. Simply put, employees want to work for someone who appreciates their contributions to the organization.

But getting occasional recognition from your boss is not nearly enough.

The Role of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

A quick telling stat: 70% of employees credited their peers for creating an engaging environment, while perks such as work functions, parties, or amenities only accounted for 8%. (Source: Tiny Pulse)

The following employee comments underscore the role that peers play in the workplace:

  • “I look forward to coming to work every day. The people are great, and we have lots of celebrations for the good work that we do.”
  •  “I’ve never once wished that I didn’t have to go into work. Everyone here is awesome, and there is not one day that has gone by where I haven’t laughed out loud about something, with someone here.”
  •  “Great people to work with, people I share my life with, people I trust, that support, and encourage me and my ideas. There is a team here that is for each other and builds all the others up instead of climbing over the backs of others. We laugh with each other and seem to truly enjoy each other. We get silly, eat too much, and treat one another as a family.”

Creating Collaboration Spaces

Peers play such a vital role in creating a fun work environment. So at CAI, we give staff the space to collaborate and work together. This is especially important with the influx of millennials in the workforce, who live and thrive on collaboration. We also utilize informal and formal ‘we’ spaces where our employees can spontaneously come together to collaborate:

  • Meeting tables: Scatter these around the office so people can quickly come together. Put up a whiteboard (or better yet, whiteboard paint a wall) nearby, and you’ve got an impromptu meeting room. These tables are perfect for encouraging and promoting spontaneous ideation.
  • Break rooms: Idle chitchat around the water cooler isn’t a time waster. In fact, it typically revolves around work-related topics, so you never know when a brilliant idea might pop up. At CAI, we have created a breakroom that allows staff and training class visitors to actively network and intermingle.
  • Casual meeting rooms: In addition to more traditional conference rooms, we have included casual enclosed spaces that are ideal for when you need to discuss sensitive topics or gather for team meetings.

By dishing out praise, leveraging peer-to-peer recognition tools, creating collaborative spaces, and assessing cultural fit, you are laying down the right groundwork to retain your star employees. CAI members have access to numerous recognition information and tools. Contact CAI to learn more about membership.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

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