What Employees Want: Praise and Recognition

Posted: November 8, 2022  

“What gets recognized gets reinforced, and what gets reinforced gets repeated.”


In today’s ultra-competitive work environment, the companies with the winning edge are the ones that have the best-trained and well-skilled staff. However, even the best employees cannot perform well (or may even jump ship) when they are not motivated enough. Praise and recognition provide the kind of positive experience that can increase employees’ morale, motivation and engagement, and renew their commitment to their organization.  This is why employee praise and recognition in the workplace has to be an innate part of any company’s culture.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is the acknowledgment of a company’s staff for exemplary performance. It is the timely informal or formal acknowledgement of a person’s behavior, effort, or business result that supports the organization’s goals and values and exceeds normal expectations.

Why Employee Recognition Matters

One of the biggest motivators for employees is to be held in high esteem by their peers. The best way of earning this respect is to be acknowledged for being good at what they do.

An increasing number of businesses are becoming proponents of mutual recognition, claiming that asking colleagues to praise each other helps to create a genuine atmosphere of positivity and fuels a sense of belonging and purpose.  Employees thrive off acknowledgement and praise. Especially in the age of hybrid and remote work, it is not uncommon to experience feelings of isolation, so knowing that your co-workers appreciate you and value your input can help to effectively combat this.

But don’t just take our word for it – there’s plenty of data to back up the value of employee recognition programs.

One of the benefits of recognition and praise is that it helps create employee engagement. Workers won’t be engaged if they feel like nobody cares. A manager who praises is one who’s paying attention to the work and the worker. That personalized attention is crucial for the creation of an emotional bond between employees and the organization. And the strength of that bond, in turn, is behind higher productivity, lower turnover, fewer mistakes and accidents, and ultimately, higher profits.

Another benefit of employee recognition and praise in the workplace is that it can be the foundation of cultivating a culture of self-improvement. One of the best methods for staff recognition is to provide them with opportunities to learn and make themselves better at what they do. To take it a step further, it is also ideal to incentivize learning – reward those who have taken the time to focus on self-improvement.

There are countless ways to put employee recognition in the workplace into action; however, it all begins with company culture. A winning employee recognition program starts with having a company culture that advocates appreciation for top performers. This can be the foundation for solid staff engagement, continuous employee development, and an integral part of the company’s retention strategy for the future.