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What Happens When Employees Aren’t Recognized?

How much did you spend on recruitment last year?

In today’s competitive job market, it has become harder and more complex to find employees who will be an asset to your corporation. One of the largest problems facing business managers is the high volume of turnover that they face.
Why do people leave their job? A survey of Canadian employees revealed the top five reasons that people give for quitting their job.
Pay (we were surprised to see this as #1)Dishonest or unethical practices of employerDistrust of leaders Lack of work/life balancePoor corporate culture
Employers who wish to retain their top employees should evaluate their business to combat these issues. While preventing employee drain is essential, another, and in some ways more urgent issue is facing business managers.
According to a recent Gallup poll, one of the most concerning issues that business managers must deal with is a lack of employee engagement.
What is employee engagement? Employee engagement has been defined as an employee’s “psychological investment” in their work. Employees who are engaged at work are more productive, look for new opportunities to succeed and contribute to the company’s overall success.
A lack of engagement, however, can have a detrimental effect on a company’s employee morale, staffing and profit levels.
A 2016 poll revealed that only 27% of Canadian employees consider themselves engaged at work. Of the remaining 73% of employees, 60% are not engaged, while 13% are actively disengaged.
These numbers paint an alarming picture of the reality of the workplace: over half of employees are simply going through the motions every day. In addition, nearly one-third of employees self-report that they are either looking for a new job or would be willing to leave their current job if a better offer came along.
With such large numbers of employees either looking for a new opportunity or disengaged with their job, employers must look for ways to improve their employee engagement.
How can employers improve employee engagement?
To combat employee disengagement, employers must address the issues the prevent their employees from fully engaging with their work. Here are three simple ideas to consider:
Fully develop onboarding and training programs. One of the largest hurdles to employee engagement is training. Employees who feel unprepared to complete their job duties or who are lacking in the necessary skills will have a difficult time feeling successful. Ensure that your training programs offer employees the skills and tools they’ll need to accomplish their tasks. Use goal setting. Tying employee performance to corporate and individual goals will help employees see the benefit of their work on a larger scale. They’ll have a clearer picture of how their work performance impacts the company overall and can see how they are an essential part of the company’s success. Acknowledge employees. Employees want to be noticed. Not only for their work performance, which is important, but as a unique individual. Acknowledging employees can help to develop a level of respect and friendship between the employer and the employee. Things as simple as a casual greeting in the morning (“Good morning, Bob, great work on the XYZ project last week!”), honoring them on their birthday (a monthly birthday cake in the break room to celebrate that month’s birthdays) and asking about their out of work activities can go a long way. You know your employees best, so take these as suggestions and personalize to what will work best in your company’s culture. Demonstrating you truly see your employees as a valued individual will help employees develop feelings of loyalty towards their job and improve engagement.
Employee recognition is a facet of improving employee engagement that can cost very little financially but has huge benefits for the corporation. While few employees will quit their job solely because they don’t feel recognized, it can be a contributing factor that may ultimately lead them to leave. What are some ways you can improve employee recognition in your company?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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