Employee Motivation: Recognition matters a lot!

Companies with recognition-rich cultures enjoy opportunities for enhanced productivity, retention strategy, and increased employee engagement and development than other companies.

Dr. Ashley Whillans, a specialist in behavioral science, emphasized in her 2019 article:

“Cash matters in people’s lives, but it’s not all that matters. What really matters in the workplace is helping employees feel appreciated.”

Most managers motivate their employees with cash rewards, when actually, it’s not what they’re really hoping to receive.

95 percent of the happiest employees say that their managers are good at providing positive feedback. Managers make their task harder when they extrinsically motivate employees by cash alone instead of instilling intrinsic motivation to keep them productive out of enjoyment and appreciation for their work.

A survey of over 1,000 employees showed that 30% would rather be recognized in a company-wide email from an executive than receive a monetary reward.This indicates the importance of appreciation which explains why money is not the number one reason why employees leave a company – it comes third behind finding healthier and more appreciative companies.

An effective employee motivation strategy begins with having a company culture that initiates quality appreciation and recognition for performers instead of conditioning them with cash rewards. Basing on overjustification effect in  Social Psychology, it explains that when a task that was once intrinsically motivating for someone to do (like a good job at work) can suddenly become extrinsically motivating.

This happens in a workplace when an employee expects a cash reward for hitting a target or finishing a task, yet the manager removes or lowers the reward. The employee’s interest in the task then drops. The intrinsic motivation of the employee is gone, and extrinsic rewards must be continuously offered to keep the motivation going.

One must always be wise in building motivation through the value of praise and recognition in a company’s culture. Acknowledging employees has always been an effective motivational strategy to enhance loyalty, increase productivity, and strengthen employee engagement in the company.

Not to mention, praise and acknowledgement doesn’t cost a single peso! That’s the best thing about employee motivation – it’s free!

How about you? Do you feel motivated when your work and efforts are recognized? Let us hear your unforgettable motivational experiences in the comment section below.

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