For the last ten months, I have been on a mission to recognize and thank the people showing up for work every day. It has been easy to do, considering how grateful I am as a consumer that these people make sure we have the products we need for our daily lives. Currently, businesses struggle to find talent in this tight labor market. Part of the solution is supporting those who show up to help make things better. The responses I get tell me how important this simple recognition process is to those on the receiving end and the difference it makes. How are you engaged in being part of the solution?
Unsurprisingly, those who are showing up for work carry a heavier load now due to the lack of workers. Someone must pick up the slack for those who have decided not to be part of the workforce. And that “someone” is the people you interface with daily, either in person or online as a consumer. The additional stress many feel with inflation leads to lousy consumer behavior, which complicates what these people deal with daily. As a result, it can be a difficult task to stay engaged in their work. Recognition is part of the key to retaining good talent.
People thrive when they are recognized for the work they do. My usual acknowledgment sounds like this, “Thank you for coming to work today. We appreciate you and need more people like you.” The most common reaction I get is a big smile and a surprised look on their face. And they often say in return, “thank you so much, that means a lot,” or “thank you, you just made my day!” Consequently, I can almost see those in the latter group lifting off the ground a few inches. When I say “thank you for coming to work today”, I mean it! That is also what people respond to because they know I am sincere and genuine with my gratitude.
Now I don’t share this as some form of self-promotion. I share it to help people understand that there is something that we can all do to make this situation better. Expressing gratitude and support for those who help us daily has a significant impact. It is also a way for us to engage in being part of the solution. Recent research by Gallup and Workhuman examined the effect of recognition in the workplace. Their study found that employees who receive the right amount of recognition are “73% less likely to be burned out and 56% less likely to be actively looking or watching for job opportunities.”
Some organizations spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on recognition programs. Some of those programs are very successful. Yet, 81% of the senior leaders in this study said a recognition program is not a strategic priority for their organization. As a result, in the same research referenced above, only 20% of employees surveyed said they received the right amount of recognition. Those numbers clearly show a significant gap in the amount of appreciation people receive. It is a great opportunity for us, as consumers and leaders, to help change that gap.
What can you do?
Steps you can take to be part of the solution:
- Be present, put down your phone, and look at the people around you.
- Notice the effort people make for you as a consumer and your organization if you’re at work.
- Express gratitude in your way or borrow what I say written above. Show consistent, genuine appreciation for the work people do.
- Bring this practice of recognition into all your interactions, including at home. You’ll be amazed at the improvement in your relationships if you focus on recognition and acknowledgment instead of criticism or critiquing all the time.
As an employer, you will also see a change in productivity, engagement, and attitude when you consistently use recognition in your organization. Give it a try. And don’t be surprised when you find that you also change for the better by implementing this practice at work and home. Authors Note: For those of you who saw my recent post about the grocery story produce stocker, when I said “thank you for coming to work today” he just beamed. Then he said, “You don’t know what you just did for me, thank you! Thank you for being such a blessing.”
Let us know how we can help you and your team.
 Transforming Workplaces Through Recognition Gallup and Workhuman