Human beings are complicated creatures.  There is no doubt about that.  But when it comes to feeling happy at work things can seem a little counter-intuitive.

I speak to a lot of people looking for a new job and exploring what options the job market has to offer.  During my initial conversations with prospective candidates I often hear that money (or a lack of) is one of their motivations for moving roles.  But almost always, as the conversation develops, and we delve deeper into people’s main drivers and motivations, it becomes apparent very quickly that money is not, in itself, the sole motivator for driving change.   Instead, a high proportion of those I speak with quote recognition and appreciation as key reasons for leaving a business and a lack of recognition often manifests itself as a lack of autonomy.

Recognition is a tricky beast.  At the end of the day a pay rise could be construed as recognition for a job well done.  Or is that simply a reward for completing that which was asked of you?  And is a simple monetary return enough for us to stay engaged and loyal to our manager and organisation? Recognition is relational, intangible, experienced not consumed, unconditional, unexpected and personal.  Reward is none of these. 

The Manager/Employee and Peer-to-Peer relationship(s) play a fundamental role in engagement, loyalty and ultimately retention of employees.  Feeling valued is importance to us all.  Whether it be in the work place, at home, in school or in sport, peer recognition, and importantly, manager recognition is linked to our overall feelings towards the people and organisation we work for.  There is a strong correlation between feeling appreciated, employee engagement and ultimately retention rates.  There is a powerful emotional and relational connection.

Peer recognition drives a more collaborative and enjoyable work environment and one where people want to stay and contribute positively to, almost selflessly; philanthropically even.   The idea that goodwill breeds goodwill is not a new idea going back to biblical times – “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).   Management can set the tone for the organisation and a manager that fosters a collaborative, altruistic culture and celebrates recognition can catalyse a contagion effect across a business: goodwill breeds goodwill; recognition breeds recognition; retention breeds retention.

Reward: money and ‘perks’ such as on-site gyms, coffee machines, break-out areas and other amenities hold less importance to employees than we imagine.  A simple ‘well done’ from a manager or ‘thank you’ from a peer is incredibly powerful.  Feeling recognition for your contribution heightens your sense of adding value and strengthens the employee-organisational bond, the sense of being part of something more collegiate and supportive.

So, given how simple providing recognition is and in term fostering a culture of appreciation, why do so many businesses fail?  That is not a question I can answer quickly but one that organisations must challenge themselves to address internally.

What I can suggest is that given the financial and opportunity costs of high attrition rates and the competitive nature of the job market for leading talent, maybe organisations need to rethink their recognition and retention strategies and place greater importance on celebrating the achievements and endeavours of their employees no matter how big or small. 

Whilst we know many businesses already have very robust and sophisticated internal recognition and retention policies, we believe that industry and sector-wide recognition plays a vital role in build a sense of cultural belonging and lowering attrition rates.  Given this we wanted to provide a forum through which people could share recognition externally, with their sector and industry peers across the North West. 

So, if you are working with a peer or employee who deserves appreciation, why don’t you show some recognition and nominate them for the inaugural Resourcery Group Outstanding Performance Awards for 2018 by simply clicking the link and following a few simple steps: https://www.resourcerygroup.com/awards-2018

Who knows, someone maybe nominating you!