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78% say recognising others makes them want to work harder

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While the benefits of giving staff the recognition have routinely been examined, it’s not often that people examine how recognising employees affects the giver. Is there more to be gained from recognition than just receiving it?

According to a recent O.C. Tanner survey 78% of more than 3,400 professionals worldwide say that recognising someone else’s achievements makes them want to work harder.

By generation, Millennials were found to feed off recognising others the most (85%), followed by Gen X with 79% and Baby Boomers (61%).

Apart from making them want to work harder, those who give recognition at work are more confident in their work.

Nine in 10 employees (90%) who noted that they “always” give recognition to employees feel that their work in the year has represented significant innovations when compared to the norm. The report noted that the percentage goes down as frequency of giving recognition goes down – with 83% of those giving recognition often feeling that their work has represented significant innovations, 68% of those who give recognition sometimes, 61% of those who rarely give recognition and 54% of those who never give recognition.

Employees who gave recognition at work more were also found to have more organisational pride with 94% of employees who noted that they “always” give recognition to employees being proud to tell others they work for their organisation, compared to 67% of those who never give recognition.

ALSO READ: 7 steps to build a culture of employee recognition

At the same time those who give recognition at work were also more motivated. More than nine in 10 employees (95%) who noted that they “always” give recognition to employees felt highly motivated to contribute to the success of their organisation, compared to 62% of those who never give recognition.

While there are obvious advantages to giving recognition, the report also noted a disconnect in perception between frontline and upper-level employees (managers, directors, VPs, executives) when it comes on having the opportunity to give and receive recognition.

When it comes to reasons that employees don’t give other employees recognition more often, 1 in 5 employees don’t feel empowered to give recognition at work. Almost one in five employees (17%) don’t feel like it is their responsibility to give recognition at work with the highest percentage coming from the frontline employees (23%). Another 21% noted that they don’t give recognition more often because their organisation doesn’t have an official program to do so.

Additionally, the report shed light on the various ways in which employees gave recognition to their coworkers with talking being the most popular way to communicate praise. When asked to think specifically about the last time they gave recognition at work, 48% reported giving it via one-on-one verbal recognition, 37% through verbal recognition in front of colleagues, and 31% regocnising someone via email.

Handwritten notes, though far less common, are not dead, with 8% of employees revealing that the last time they gave recognition to another employee at work it involved a handwritten note (10% to 16% for managers and above and 3% for frontline employees).

In Singapore

Employees who ‘often/always’ give recognition were found to perform significantly better than those who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition in areas such as engagement, motivation and innovation.

On Average, employees in Singapore who ‘often/always’ give recognition score 19% higher on their raw engagement score when compared to those who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition.

Similarly, the report found that compared to employees who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition, 30% more employees who ‘often/always’ give recognition were highly motivated to contribute to the success of their organisation.

When it comes to innovation, employees in Singapore who ‘often/always’ give recognition scored 23% higher on their raw innovation scores when comparing employees who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition.

READ MORE: Bosses are failing at recognising employees well

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