Recognition’s Impact on Productivity: It’s More Than Employee of the Month

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Apr 30, 2012

One of the major outcomes of the Great Recession is a dramatic increase in employee productivity. This is not surprising, as the employees who survived round after round of layoffs naturally picked up the work of their former colleagues.

Now the question becomes how sustainable is that increased productivity over time?

Sure, employees who feared they might be next on the layoff list willing worked at a breakneck pace on far more projects than was typical. But that pace cannot be sustained over the long term.

Lack of recognition hinders productivity

Advances in technology will likely help, as will increased hiring. But smart managers realize simply recognizing employees for their contributions – helping them understand how meaningful their efforts are and how valuable they are to the organization – is fundamental to maintaining and yes, even increasing, productivity.

The Economic Times recent reported on a poll on employee productivity from TJinsite, the research arm of, revealing:

More than 35 percent of the employees consider lack of recognition of work as the biggest hindrance to their productivity. According to them, rewards and recognition for achievements at workplace act as morale booster, which in turn increase their productivity.”

You can’t just reward top performers

A client of ours tells us their annual employee survey reveals 90 percent+ employees report receiving recognition boosts their productivity. Achieving these kinds of results in increased productivity and performance are possible by creating a true culture of recognition in which it becomes habit for all employees, at every level, to pause, notice and appreciate the efforts and achievements of those around them.

But you can’t do this with an “employee of the month” or “annual bonus” program. The article goes on to note:

“Sakaar Anand, Vice President-HR, CA Technologies, underlined that the recognition culture is not built by rewarding a few top performers once a quarter. But, it is built when companies go beyond the routine principle of do ‘X’ amount of work and get rewarded.”

Is sustaining higher levels of employee productivity a concern in your organization? What proactive steps are you taking to help employees engage and stay motivated to deliver the performance levels you need?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

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