The All-Simplus-Shout Out Slack channel is alive and active, filled with well thought out and enthusiastic posts. Seeing recognition of great work from colleagues and leadership is not only fun to read; it’s inspiring. These shout outs are just one example of the supportive and positive culture at Simplus. We give credit where credit is due.
Studies show that 80 percent of companies practice some form of public recognition among employees—with positive results. “Showing employees recognition motivates them to keep doing amazing work, which, in turn, means happier customers,” says Vivian Maza. “Employees who feel recognized for their work are also more likely to stay with a company, resulting in less turnover, a critical factor for your bottom line.”
Starting at the top, our leadership is no stranger to recognizing people who have contributed to a project’s success or a sales win as well as a great idea or company contribution. This kind of behavior is in our formal and informal communication, including company meetings, quarterly newsletters, and various Slack channels. More importantly, it sets an example for our whole organization. Peers recognize peers, project managers highlight team successes, and mentors and managers call out individual achievements.
Using a public forum to call attention to a job well done often has a lasting personal and organizational impact. If done well, it can transform your company culture to one of positivity and support. Here’s how:
Recognition can increase workplace motivation
It can be demotivating to work hard at something only to have those efforts taken for granted. Even worse, having someone claim that work as their own. This can happen when personal insecurities get in the way of the greater good. A study published by O.C. Tanner Learning Group found that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs listed “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving. But leaders can set an example by ensuring the right people get credit for the work they do and the contributions they make to an effort.
One Simplus colleague shared a time when she completed something and how great it felt to get the credit for the work. “When I finished creating that button, the person the case was assigned to it told me to take credit for it. I would have been happy to just have it done—I am glad to be working with people that aren’t just looking out for themselves.” This kind of support builds trust and confidence in each other as teammates.
Recognition can be subtle
Not everyone is comfortable with public displays of acknowledgment. In addition to recognition programs, subtle mentions in company newsletters can foster a credit sharing vibe as well.
At Simplus, we have a quarterly newsletter that runs down various company activities, business successes, and workforce achievements. Seeing your name mentioned for achieving a certification or contributing some thought leadership is another great way to call out those who are actively giving to the company.
“When you show your employees that you see and appreciate their efforts — and take the time to demonstrate how much of a measurable impact they’re having on your business and your corner of the world — those employees feel good about what they do and they take those feelings home with them,” explained William Craig. “Let’s put it this way: Good vibes in the office translate into a happier and more peaceful home life.”
Recognition doesn’t cost anything but can mean everything
Promotions and job titles are ways in which a person can feel recognized. There aren’t always opportunities to move up or into a role with a new title. Often organizations try to operate lean and flat to reduce overhead and over-engineering corporate structures.
Even though there is typically a cost associated with promotions, this kind of movement in an organization is important and usually tied to HR and performance reviews as well as real roles to be filled.
But giving recognition and acknowledgment for achievement or a job well done doesn’t cost anything. It does take time to ensure that this is happening, but if it is part of the corporate culture, it can become a habit and contagious among the workforce. There are all kinds of leaders in an organization; Formal by title and position and informal as part of the whole. Each can elevate staff through positive acknowledgment.
“Great leaders understand that genuine praise is a powerful motivator,” wrote Jas Singh in 2015, and it still holds true today. “In fact in ten years as a recruiter working with many successful entrepreneurs, I can even say with confidence that people are usually more motivated to succeed by credit or recognition than even money itself.”
The key component is for employees to practice seeing the value in collective contributions to a team’s success. “It is amazing how much can be accomplished with teamwork if no one is concerned who gets the credit,” said Craig Impelman. “An unselfish team starts with a leader who gives away the credit when things go well and accepts the blame when they don’t.”
A recent study found that 82 percent of employees believe praise has more value than giving gifts. Using tools and platforms that regularly incorporate public acknowledgment—even subtle gestures of appreciation—make a lasting impact. By readily giving credit where it is deserved, leaders can effectively leverage company culture, motivate and retain staff, and elevate overall work performance.