Recognition: The Other Contact Sport

September 8, 2015
| ByMike Ryan

As a new NFL season kicks off I am reminded that football is not the only “contact” sport in play these days. The employee recognition game can also be won (or lost) based on your contact strategy.

Employees value being recognized and appreciated more than anything else. The most engaged (and by extension the most productive) yearn to be acknowledged by someone on their team (a manager, a co-worker, maybe even a customer). A contact once a week or so, from any one of those groups, has been known to play a big role in maintaining their commitment, focus and loyalty.

Yet, few employees get close to that level of feedback and it’s starting to show. Two out of every three workers say they don’t feel appreciated enough at work and many of them are actively looking for new jobs.

That’s why I say recognition is really a contact sport. Positive “contact” needs to occur more often than you think and with the right social recognition system you can increase the amount of recognition touches an employee feels. In fact, there is no limit to how often recognition can be delivered because it can come from anyone at any time (i.e. senior leadership, immediate supervisors, peers, etc.).

By giving employees more feedback and praise you are addressing their need to be included and valued. The bottom line is that employee engagement depends on workplace relationships as much as it does anything else. Social recognition will expand the number of positive “contacts” your employees experience. It reaffirms that they are indeed an important and trusted part of your team.

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