Improving Employee Morale and Productivity Through Co-worker Recognition

In some ways, digital technology contributes to weak employee morale and disengagement. Some workers feel like the proverbial cogs in a machine, but savvy companies can use technology to increase productivity and employee engagement by recognizing employees for their work, helping them improve their skills and training them for advancement opportunities. About 50 percent of the workforce is reported as disengaged from their jobs and their corporate culture, and 18 percent actively cause problems because they’re apathetic. [1]

Managers and administrators can use digital technology to uncover the facts about employee engagement. Using CRM, ERP and other applications, businesses can analyze workforce behavior, customer service issues and internal communications that drive performance benchmarks. Using digital tools to foster better communications--between employees, co-workers and staff--companies can create a better working environment, recognize outstanding work and attract and retain top talent.

 

The Value of Co-worker Recognition

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved.” [2] Recognition, in reality, can be more important than money for many people--especially millennials. Employees work with their peers each day, and recognition from them creates a better work environment. Supervisor recognition is valuable but seldom as pervasive as the acknowledgement of peers.

The best motivator for employee performance has always been recognition by co-workers and supervisors. Companies that want to build high-performance teams need to foster greater communications, collaboration and friendly competition. This strategy not only improves staff functionality but also strengthens staff loyalty. The first step to success is building a corporate culture of employee appreciation, encouragement and recognition.

The company's CRM system--when integrated with other business applications--can drill down for detailed information on employee performance. Companies can use these insights to recognize even small accomplishments that might otherwise go unnoticed. About 82 percent of U.S. employees feel that their accomplishments aren't recognized, and 40 percent suggest that they would work harder if recognized more often. [3]

 

Simple Rewards Generate Positive, Multilayered Results

Recognition serves as its own reward, but most companies choose to invest in performance incentives as an additional motivator. These rewards can be profitable for employees who achieve major goals, but they don't have to be expensive. Managers can hold a meeting with snacks and coffee to recognize staff accomplishments. A team dinner is also a great way to recognize solid achievements. Even joke gifts can be strong motivators--such as a gag trophy. Inexpensive ideas for performance incentives include:

  • Maintaining a bulletin board that shows each employee's progress toward a work goal
  • Crediting employees who make great suggestions
  • Writing sincere personal notes
  • Giving high-performing employees time off for personal use
  • Awarding a nomadic trophy each month to one employee or team
  • Providing tickets to sporting events or entertainment venues

Recognition can be awarded for different kinds of milestones such as length of service, productivity, attendance, outstanding customer service and job safety. It's Important to decide in advance what type of behavior to recognize, but administrators should be flexible enough to recognize new categories that might arise.

 

Workplace Strategies for Engaging Staff

There are thousands of possibilities for engaging staff, but three basic rules apply. Managers and staff need to be authentic and recognize real achievements. Recognizing every employee isn’t a good idea because it devalues the recognition. Managers should also strive to respect each worker’s personal feelings. Some workers like attention and being feted while others prefer private validation without as much fanfare, so try to determine what each employee would prefer in terms of recognition. It’s also important to demonstrate that managers and senior staff are also engaged and believe deeply in what they’re doing.

 

Yearly Awards Presentations

  • Yearly Awards Presentations Annual awards can be tied to pay raises, performance bonuses, succession planning and other department-specific goals. Try to recognize employees at various levels of service.

Great Place to Work

  • Great Place to Work Low morale can often be boosted by making the workplace more fun. Ideas might include allowing workers to work flexible shifts, decorate their workspace and socialize in company-sponsored events.

Rewards for Efforts at Improvement

  • Rewards for Efforts at Improvement Recognizing only top performers doesn’t encourage those who are striving to reach this rarefied status. Try recognizing people for their efforts and improvements.

Telecommuting Options

  • Telecommuting Options If possible, allow regular employees to telecommute from home occasionally. The option can be a lifesaver for single parents and others with unique needs.

Advancement Opportunities

  • Advancement Opportunities Demonstrate how employees can advance in their careers such as cross-training, taking classes, earning certifications and participating in a mentoring program.

 

Statistical Overview of Disengaged Employees

One study found that apathetic employees costs U.S. employers between $450 and $550 billion annually. [4] Work teams that are highly engaged and competitive, however, are 21 percent more productive. Companies with highly engaged employees earned 2.3 times higher revenue growth rates than companies where engagement rates were only average.

 

The Key to Success Is Integration

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software helps to manage eCommerce customers but can also manage and provide insights about employees. Integrated CRM software can be set to trigger automated alerts about employee accomplishments and goals while providing a forum for easier communications. Employees can share their accomplishments, ask important questions and streamline the technical side of reporting their progress.

Social sharing tools allow employees to share information with other staff members, supervisors and external resources in a secure work environment. CRM systems can foster greater social sharing and easier communications among employees. Integrated software enables microblogging, interoffice communications and the ability to ask and answer questions.

 

Recognizing the Right Development Partner

Recognizing employee contributions is critical for staff engagement, and so is recognizing and hiring the right development partner. Integrating your business applications makes your software work for you the way that your business operates. You can save time by automating alerts, keeping better track of employee performance and getting holistic information about your staff from the social media platforms and other sources of intelligence. Your business will run more efficiently so that your HR staff can focus on nurturing employees and building a great place to work.

 

References:

[1] Villanovau.com: 10 Employee Recognition Techniques That Can Help Boost Morale

https://www.villanovau.com/resources/hr/employee-recognition-techniques-boost-morale/#.WxCah1OUthE

[2] Inside.6q.io: Why is Employee Peer Recognition Important?

https://inside.6q.io/why-is-employee-peer-recognition-important/

[3] Hbr.org: Recognizing Employees Is the Simplest Way to Improve Morale

https://hbr.org/2016/05/recognizing-employees-is-the-simplest-way-to-improve-morale.html

[4] Dynamicsignal.com: Employee Productivity Statistics: Every Stat You Need to Know

https://dynamicsignal.com/2017/04/21/employee-productivity-statistics-every-stat-need-know/

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