The Great Recognition: Empowering change in the new world of work

A new report by Achievers explores how organisations can create a culture of recognition to drive organisational success.
By: | May 24, 2022

With recognition now a key lever for how employees want to be engaged and retained, building a culture of meaningful, appreciative recognition is business critical to increase engagement and contribute to a deep sense of belonging for all employees, said Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist, Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI).

Writing in the Achievers Workforce Institute 2022 State of Recognition Report, she highlighted, “Meaningful recognition is a key driver of every aspect of belonging. With the right timing, it ensures people feel welcomed and the right message makes them feel known, included, and supported. Recognition is also an incredible tool for nurturing connection at work, and for strengthening relationships across teams, offices, and geographies.”

Organisations, AWI describes, are in the age of the Great Recognition, a new world of work where recognition is acknowledged as the single most important tool for meeting employee needs as they evolve.

Supporting employee and organisational success in a new world of work

According to the Achievers Workforce Institute 2022 State of Recognition Report, one of the first things organisations need to acknowledge is how employee demands are changing, with work-life balance, career progression, and recognition topping the list of requirements. Organisations thus, must now compete beyond even a competitive salary with standard benefits and perks to attract and retain top talent.

HR is still struggling to attract and retain in this new world of work. The latest research from AWI shows that individuals recognised weekly are twice as likely as average to have strong job commitment. They are also five times more likely than those never recognised to say they rarely think about job hunting.

AWI recommends that HR use meaningful recognition as a powerful lever to help drive multiple positive outcomes, from almost doubling productivity, engagement, and belonging, to encouraging employees to advocate for their company. Employee advocacy, AWI added, can be a crucial tool for creating a culture and brand that attracts new candidates.

Meaningful recognition also needs to start at the top, because people who are regularly recognised by their manager in a way that makes them feel valued are more likely to recognise others, contributing to an overall culture of recognition.

The power of consistent, meaningful manager recognition is clear. However, many employers are not taking steps to train and empower their leaders to be high-impact recognisers. Regular training on recognition best practices is crucial for developing and nurturing a culture of recognition, said AEI.

Organisations must then move to invest in an optimised recognition platform that drives recognition at every level. AWI research shows that an optimised platform drives results, whereas a manual or ad hoc platform is unlikely to effectively support business objectives.

An effective platform, said AWI, focuses on both quality and quantity, ensures recognitions occur within the flow of work, supports a proactive and ongoing communication strategy, and measures success with metrics that matter to the business.

With the right recognition platform and strategy, business leaders will ensure their organisations not only survive but thrive in this new era of work. Meaningful recognition, AEI emphasised, is the “most powerful lever” available to move the needle on jon commitment, engagement, belonging, and productivity.

Click here to read the full report and find out how you can use meaningful recognition to meet your employees’ needs.