Does Recognition Increase Employee Engagement?
We wanted to understand the difference between recognition that increases employee engagement and recognition that does not. How many times have you heard the phrase “great job” directed at co-workers or even kids on the sports field? The intention, of course, is to help people feel good about what they are doing and to encourage the desired good behavior and effort you are looking for. But does it work?
Over-Recognition Can Backfire
We believe that recognition only increases motivation and effort when the receiver feels that it is truly deserved. A recent study at Stanford cited in Psychology Today showed that “praising effort, not talent, leads to greater motivation and more positive attitudes toward challenges” in the future. But empty, non-specific, insincere, undeserved, or exaggerated praise (like the generic “great job”) can have the opposite effect.
Yes, it is important for managers to recognize and praise their employees. In fact that’s a critical attribute of high employee engagement. But managers need to do it right or employee motivation and effort will be undermined.
Recognition that Increases Employee Engagement
Recognition that increases employee engagement requires five critical qualities if it is to have the desired result. Recognition that increases employee engagement needs to be:
The Bottom Line
If greater employee engagement is the goal (and shouldn’t it be?), then make sure that the way you recognize your team members will have the desired effect of increasing motivation, desired behavior and effort.
To learn more about recognition that increases employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways To Boost Engagement
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