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Why Employee Recognition Remains the Primary Motivator for Companies

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It’s not uncommon for an employer or company manager to pat an employee on the back while telling them they’ve done a good job. While this is a fine thing, it falls short of something very important when it comes to boosting the morale of the entire company. That is, public recognition. Employee recognition in the form of a presentation and an award can do wonders for your company’s morale and its overall production.

Says the experts at EDCO Awards, an employee award recognition company, if you’re seeking to boost the optimism of your company, you should look for an awards company that allows you to acquire custom awards, plaques, or trophies via the internet. As a business owner or manager, this saves precious time. Also look for an experienced awards team that uses only the highest quality materials like stone, wood, acrylic, and heavy-duty glass.

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That said, what are some of the reasons why employee recognition can be a primary motivator for a company or organization? According to a recent report by the Harvard Business Review, recognition and appreciation are two words that are often used interchangeably as if they mean the exact same thing. But while they’re both important, there’s a big difference between them.

For leaders who want their teams to thrive and organizations that want to create cultures of engagement, loyalty, and high performance, it’s important to understand the distinction. Recognition is all about offering positive feedback that’s based on performance and results. This can happen in a formal setting with a public presentation, the issuance of a beautiful award, along with a promotion and, of course, a raise.

On occasion, recognition is offered on a more informal basis. That is, a verbal thank you, a pat on the back, or even a handwritten note. These methods are personal, and meaningful so long as they are genuine. They can be exciting and motivating. Who doesn’t want to be applauded by their boss for a job well done?

employee recognition

Limits to Recognition

Recognition is said to have its limits. It’s performance-based which means it’s conditional. It’s also based on past performance meaning it’s not about what employees are doing or what they are about to do, it’s about what they’ve already accomplished. Also, it can be scarce. After all, it seems to be an unwritten rule of the business world that there is only so much recognition that can go around. Not everyone can be issued a promotion, a bonus, and a salary raise.

It’s also important to keep in mind that formal recognition must come from the very top of the organization. Many companies have established programs that allows for peers to recognize one another’s efforts. However, the major forms of recognition such as awards, promotions, raises, and more are almost always handed out by the senior leadership.

Showing Appreciation

In contrast to formal recognition, showing appreciation for a job well done is said to be all about acknowledging an employee’s inherent value. In this case, the point isn’t so much about the job and the accomplishment. Instead, it’s all about the employee’s worth as a human being and a company colleague. Said simply, recognition is about how employees perform while appreciation is about “who they are.”

Here’s some ways some companies and organizations display their appreciation and recognition for their employees:


Says the Harvard Business Review, one of the best things you can do for your employees is also one of the easiest: Put away your phone, close your laptop, and focus all your attention on them. This means listening to their wants, concerns, and company goals.

Make a Check In

Teddy Roosevelt once said that people don’t care about how much you say you know until they know how much you truly care. When translated in the business world, this means checking in with the people who work for you. It’s a good idea to ask how they’re doing in general, including anything that’s posing a great challenge to them. Listen to their solutions to meeting the challenge. In the end, it just might result in their gaining public recognition by the firm’s leaders.

business coach
Chris Bennett (center) CEO and co-founder of Central.ly, discusses a business plan with Brett Welch, CEO of Switchcam, at the internet startup incubator space 500 Startups in Mountain View, California, Tuesday, November 15, 2011. |
Thor Swift/The Bay Citizen

What You Value in Employees

There’s nothing wrong with openly and publicly telling employees what you value about them. Being proactive about this is said to be a powerful gift that boosts a company’s overall morale. It has a positive effect on your colleagues, the culture of your entire team, along with the nature of your relationship with them.

In the final analysis, building a business is one thing. But building a business where employees are openly appreciated and recognized with awards is another. It virtually guarantees your company’s success in the marketplace.

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