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Are you failing at employee engagement?

By February 23, 2017 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

I think that most people would understand and appreciate the business benefits to be derived from having a high level of employee engagement in their workplace, and the important part that feedback and recognition play in achieving this.

When employees feel valued, appreciated, respected and in tune with the corporate values and vision, they are far more likely to be engaged, motivated, and more likely to deliver discretionary effort to the organisation.

However, despite senior executives and HR managers knowing the impact employee engagement can have on individuals and business performance, some companies still fail at employee recognition, and are suffering from the consequences. If your organisation is experiencing low engagement, high staff turnover, poor customer experience, high levels of absenteeism read on:

Here are 7 ways companies are managing to fail at employee recognition – and hints on how to fix the problem.

  1. You don’t recognise employees in real time.

It is a well-known fact that giving recognition and feedback as close to the time that a particular behaviour or outcome is observed, the more impactful and valuable it is to the recipient. The longer you leave it, the less value it has.

Don’t leave an employee waiting to be recognised. Recognising employee contributions as they happen, or close to, highlight that you’re invested and interested in their work and success, which will help keep them motivated and more determined to hit the next milestone.

Genuine, authentic recognition must be in real time.

  1. Your recognition is generic, stale, and predictable.

Do you have a standard method of recognition? Do employees receive the same type of praise, regardless of their contribution to the cause? Do you limit the number of times an employee can be recognised or given feedback? I have seen these situations many times, especially where the “employee of the month” is based on peer nominations that are then voted on by managers in a secret meeting. Often the manager who shouts loudest gets his or her team member recognised. This can cause discontent in employees as they experience a lack of transparency and consistency when the same old people get nominated and recognised.

Monitor your employee recognition and change your parameters for awarding on a regular basis to encourage continued involvement and participation.

  1. You only recognise achievement.

If you’re only recognising success and achievement of goals, you’re not maximising the benefits of employee recognition. When you don’t appreciate employees for additional contribution, putting in extra hours, taking on a heavier workload, helping out with a project or going above and beyond their job description, they won’t put in that extra effort again.

Recognise your employees for their discretionary effort if you want to improve performance and engagement and “raise the bar.”

  1. Your program doesn’t allow peers to recognise one another.

Recognition from managers, senior executives and customers is important, but don’t overlook the huge impact of praise from a close co-worker or team member. Peer recognition is proven to be the most effective form or recognition.

Allow peers to give one another kudos when they see an opportunity, as team members and peers often have more insight into employee effort than managers do.

  1. You don’t make employee recognition public.

Public recognition gives peers, managers, and senior executive’s visibility to an employee’s hard work and success. And when the entire company has visibility to that recognition (or lack thereof), employees are motivated to work harder and achieve greater results. If employee recognition is kept just between a manager and employee, you miss out on that benefit.

Promote and celebrate success to your entire workforce to maximise engagement.

  1. You don’t utilise a recognition software platform.

It’s 2017 not 1987. Everyone is connected 24 x 7, and everyone is using a smart phone. If you’re not connecting with employees by leveraging user friendly technology and a mobile App in particular to make every aspect of your employee recognition more efficient, more accessible, and more personable, then you’re behind the times.

Your engagement platforms should be 24 x 7 and mobile, delivering real time recognition and publicity for success.

  1. You don’t incorporate employee recognition into performance appraisals.

Ignoring employee recognition in manager-employee performance appraisals or reviews is a missed opportunity.

Incorporate employee recognition – both given and received, to help underpin performance appraisals, and solidify the importance of employee recognition in your culture.

Brownie Points are recognised as thought leaders in employee engagement. To discuss how we can help your business call the team today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at

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