Recognise This! — Strategic recognition is a powerful tool to align employees with your goals and take appropriate action after your engagement survey is done.

Like 80% of the people on our “My Engagement Survey Is Done, Now What?” webinar yesterday (recasts available here), do you conduct an employee engagement survey? Though we didn’t ask who was guilty, do you commit these common mistakes of engagement surveys as shared BlessingWhite Employee Engagement Practice Leader Mary Ann Masarech?

Mary Ann pointed out, “The goal of surveys should be to improve engagement, not just measure it. Surveys should only be a starting point to inform the actions you can take to create a more engaged workforce and create a culture of engagement.”

She went on to offer these four best practices with suggestions for successful implementation:

  1. Know what you’re trying to achieve (so you can get executive buy-in and support)
  2. Devote more resources to action than measurement (avoid analysis paralysis)
  3. Equip your people (so individuals, managers and executives own engagement appropriately, and you can create a culture of engagement)
  4. Align your practices (to make your desired a culture a reality)

I then discussed the difference between age-old, traditional employee recognition practices and strategic recognition – recognition done right so it works harder for your organisation.

I referenced research showing recognition is the number factor in employee engagement, accounting for 56% of the variation in an employee’s level in engagement. I also shared several case studies of the power of strategic recognition to create a culture of appreciation proven to increase employee engagement by double digits in less than a year.

During Q&A, we both answered an important question about what companies with high levels of engagement are doing, even in this time of economic instability and restricted budgets.

I pointed out McKinsey research that showed spreading out $1,000 in small gestures of praise and recognition throughout the year increased engagement by 10% vs. giving that $1,000 as a one-time bonus, which only increased engagement by 1%.

Then Mary Ann added this critically important point:

The powerful thing about recognition is that it reminds people of what matters most. This is a key part of engagement – to redirect employee effort and attention to the top priorities of the organisation. That is critical when you have a solid, broad definition of engagement as more than just satisfaction. Regular recognition throughout the year is a subtle reminder of what you need employees to keep doing.”

Indeed, keeping employees aligned with often rapidly changing goals and objectives is a powerful outcome of strategic recognition – frequent, timely, and very specific feedback.

If you missed the webinar, recasts are available today and tomorrow through HCI on these dates/times:

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