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Strategic Recognition Impacts Employee Wellbeing

photo of a woman shaking hands with a man, co-workers applauding in the background

Recent research from Gallup-Workhuman finds a correlation between employee recognition and an employee’s level of wellbeing, which together can help or harm employee performance, feelings of pay equity, and job-searching tendencies.

Gallup and Workhuman found employees experiencing great strategic recognition are more likely to be told they are top performers, feel their pay is fair, and are less likely to be actively looking for another job.

Further, results indicate great strategic recognition could help offset the effects of low wellbeing on an employee’s job performance, perceived fairness of pay, and their desire to search for another job.

Unfortunately, only 23 percent of employees strongly agree their organization has a system in place to recognize professional milestones such as promotions and work anniversaries. Only 15 percent strongly agree their organization recognizes people for life events such as birthdays, weddings, and other personal events.

A key to success with employee recognition is to avoid inconsistent and inappropriate praise. Gallup’s five pillars of strategic recognition are:

  • Fulfilling employees’ recognition expectations with the appropriate amount of praise
  • Delivering authentic praise versus working from a checklist
  • Offering personalized recognition
  • Providing equitable and fair recognition
  • Integrating recognition into the daily culture of the organization

Research found an organization of 10,000 people can save more than $16 million annually in employee turnover costs, in addition to cost-savings from engagement and productivity, when they make recognition an important part of their culture.

Employees who receive the right amount of recognition for their work experience lower burnout, improved daily emotions, and stronger relationships with their co-workers. While it was not a surprise to find that great recognition has a positive effect on employee wellbeing, research director of Gallup’s National Health and Well-Being Index Dan Witters says he was “…surprised by how poor recognition can throw wellbeing out the window.”

For more information on the topic, check out the Workhuman article New Gallup Research on How to Design Recognition Programs That Drive Business Impact, and view the report From “Thank You” to Thriving: A Deeper Look at How Recognition Amplifies Wellbeing.

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Sarah James
Sarah James
Communications Specialist

Sarah James joined HR Services in 2019. Prior to that, she worked at a Central Texas school district for 11 years. She is responsible for managing web content, HR Services articles, HRX newsletter, social media accounts, and marketing efforts.

James has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Concordia University Texas in Austin.

Email Sarah if you have a story idea for the HRX.

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