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Posts / Employee Recognition / The Importance of Recognition in the Workplace and the Manager’s Role

The Importance of Recognition in the Workplace and the Manager’s Role

Here are some statistics that may surprise you.  Nearly half of all managers say their own anxiety increases when they have to give negative feedback to an employee that reports to them, which causes them to either delay giving the feedback, or simply not give it at all. 

On top of that, fully 40% of managers surveyed say they never give positive reinforcement, either.  Those are staggering statistics, especially when you consider that a significant percentage of managers report that they really have no clear idea what it is that motivates their employees and how to improve that. 

If you’ve been wondering the same thing, this article is for you, and given the title of this piece, it will probably not come as a great shock to learn that praise, or positive feedback, plays a major role.  The question is:  How major?  Just how important is positive feedback?  The answer might surprise you as much as the other statistics we’ve mentioned so far.

Employees derive fully 70% of their engagement from their managers

This is something for which we have a lot of very good, very precise data because over the years, there has been a tremendous amount of research done on the topic.  It turns out that employees derive fully 70% of their engagement from their managers and a big portion of that stems from the positive feedback they get.

Understand, however, that not all positive feedback is created equally.  Simply saying “good job” while poking your head over the cubicle wall isn’t nearly as meaningful as taking a moment to speak genuinely with the employee you’re praising and give details and specifics, for instance:  “You really impressed me at the meeting last week.  Those suggestions you made were spectacular examples of outside the box thinking and we need more of that…thank you.” 

That’s the kind of thing that really makes an employee feel appreciated and note the ‘thank you’ at the end.  That’s critical too.

Giving Positive Feedback Makes Managers More Effective

Interestingly, the more positive feedback you give, the more effective your employees will see you as being.  In addition to being more engaged and productive, they’ll regard you as a more effective manager, which means that you win in two ways.

One incredibly easy and effective way to help you develop better habits where employing positive feedback is concerned is to take the time to develop an employee recognition program if you have not already done so.

A natural side effect of creating such a program is that you’ll immediately begin to look for an increasing number of ways to use it, which inevitably means finding reasons to single your hardest working employees out and recognizing them for a job well done.

Even if you’ve got such a program in place, however, it pays to make use of employee praise outside the context of the program.  In fact, if you make it a staple of your managerial style, you’ll find that all the employees who report to you are happier, more productive and hold you in higher regard which makes your life easier on a number of levels.  Positive feedback.  Try it, and prepare to be impressed by the results!

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