Millennials who show an appreciation of their colleagues, known as ‘giving recognition’, have a desire to work harder. This is according to a study released by The O.C. Tanner Institute. In fact, 62 per cent of UK millennials say that recognising someone else’s achievements makes them want to work harder. This compares with 41 per cent of UK Generation X workers and just 39 per cent of UK baby boomers.
The O.C. Tanner Institute surveyed 3,400 working professionals from countries around the world to better understand the culture of appreciation in the workplace and in particular, to explore how ‘giving recognition’ impacts the giver rather than the receiver. The sample included 406 professionals from the U.K.
These findings are interesting as millennials are known for craving instant recognition and gratification for themselves, however this study shows that they also feed-off recognising their co-workers, more so than any other group.
In addition, those workers who appreciate their colleagues on a regular basis are:
- Highly motivated – 86 per cent of UK employees who noted that they ‘always’ give recognition are highly motivated to contribute to the success of their organisations. This contrasts starkly with the 46 per cent of UK employees who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition being highly motivated to contribute to the success of their organisations.
- 48 per cent more innovative than those UK employees who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition.
- Very proud of their organisations – 79 per cent of UK employees who noted they ‘always’ give recognition to co-workers are proud to tell others they work for their organisations. This compares with just 51 per cent of UK employees who ‘never/rarely’ give recognition being proud to tell others that they work for their organisations.
So what does this study tell us?
Up until now, the main focus of employee recognition programmes has been on the impacts of receiving recognition. There’s now proof that there are immense benefits in the act of ‘giving’ recognition to others. To date, these profound impacts have gone unnoticed.
The evidence clearly points to the importance of organisations nurturing a culture of recognition, not only for the recipients’ sake but also for the givers. Therefore, organisations need to acknowledge this phenomenon, encouraging their millennial employees to ‘give recognition’ as part of a culture of appreciation.