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How Your Employee Recognition Efforts Are Stacking Up [RESEARCH]
Morgan Chaney
December 27, 2016

It's that time of year when we're all in look back mode. Not just at your reflection in the mirror after a few handfuls of holiday cookies (don't worry, you look fab!), but a look back at your efforts and achievements towards making your organization and workplace even greater this year. But as you dive deeper into 2017 planning, you might be curious to know - how did I compare to my peers? What should I be celebrating, or working to improve on in the new year?

That's why I was excited to speak with Clutch as part of a series of interviews about employee feedback and evaluation, in response to their latest research study.  Below are the key takeaways that I found to be most interesting when comparing employee recognition efforts across SMBs and Enterprise companies. Let us know in the comments below: How do your employee recognition efforts stack up?  What data points did you find most interesting?


1. Silence Is Not Golden

Compared to enterprise companies, small businesses offer less feedback of all types. 42% of small business employees say they receive no feedback from their managers, and only 16% of small business employees receive informal or ad-hoc feedback. The lack of employee feedback doesn’t allow for the personal and professional growth that will best benefit a growing business. One of the best ways to cultivate employee engagement through feedback is by adopting a real-time feedback system rather than formal, scheduled feedback.

In a human resources (HR) landscape where workers are increasingly turning towards small businesses and start-ups for the opportunity to receive a more personalized work experience, it is vital to understand and address feedback and evaluation gaps at your small business.

My personal take:

I’m not really supportive of company cultures that try to "save everything for the year-end review." Managers shouldn’t feel like they have to call someone into a conference room to give feedback or wait until next week's one-on-one. Ideally, if you're adopting real-time feedback, it could be as casual as leaving a meeting and having a really quick debrief where the manager feels confident sharing even just one positive behavior, and one area for improvement.


2.  Recognize Employee Value

Of the employees who receive consistent and accurate feedback, 68% say they are fulfilled in their career. On the other hand, only 33% of employees who don’t get enough feedback say they are fulfilled. Employee recognition is undeniably a vital aspect of employee happiness — and luckily there are many ways to go about providing the informal, real-time recognition that employees need.

When employee appreciation and feedback become a part of company culture, there is a notable difference in the way employees regard their jobs. Employee recognition done right is a huge driving force that keeps your staff happy and engaged. When it’s absent, it can cripple performance, productivity, and profitability. A lack of employee recognition can take a toll even on the most energetic and positive workers.

My personal take:

Employee recognition is a huge power force of keeping people happy and engaged, and the best part? Employee recognition is very easy to turn on. It can be verbal in a moment. It can be putting an employee rewards system in place within a matter of weeks. It’s a missed opportunity if [companies are] not doing it because it's usually so easy, and it goes such a long way.



3.  Get Buy-In from Managers

Employee feedback makes an impact not only on individual employees but also on team dynamics as a whole. Employees who feel appreciated are more positive about their ability to contribute to the organization and more empowered to fully engage with their work. Managers who are able to create a culture in which every employee feels

Although it is true that employee retention is a management priority, you can get ideas and buy-in by including the rest of the organization in the feedback process. Ask employees what they want from their jobs and the company.

My personal take:

Job fulfillment stems from strong leadership. The research aligns with the notion of "people don't leave jobs or companies, they leave bad managers." It's the responsibility of the company to offer manager training, to foster a culture of feedback and of support and recognition, so that managers feel comfortable, are trained, and set up for success to recognize and effectively develop their best people.

So where to go from here? Encourage people leaders to offer a more diverse range of feedback and evaluation types. But don’t stop there. A diverse variety of feedback is ineffective if only given sparingly. Put an employee rewards system in place to keep your employee recognition consistent, like the employee recognition platform we offer here at Blueboard.

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