To be blunt I was not any help in the conversation, as I did not have the facts. Was the 95% a set metric? Did 95% represent above industry average year on year growth? Without these facts it was difficult to provide meaningful input however the conversation did prompt me to think about how employees are recognised in the work place environment. In turn this also prompted me to consider the relationship between Recognition and Retention.
Research shows that Praise and Recognition are crucial for increasing employee productivity and engagement. An often cited study is the 2003 Gallup Employee engagement, satisfaction, and business-unit-level outcomes: a meta-analysis by Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L., & Killham, E.A. The study found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:
- Increase their individual productivity
- Increase engagement among their colleagues
- Are more likely to stay with their organization
- Receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
- Have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job
- Lower negative effects such as absenteeism and stress.
In 2000 executive search firm BridgeGate LLC conducted a study of 660 American workers. The study included looking at what would persuade the workers to stay with their current employer. BridgeGate found that although a raise was the most common response (43.2%), non-monetary issues were cited by more workers as motivators (50.5%). The non-monetary motivators included:
- improved benefits programs (23.1%)
- flexible work schedules (14.1%)
- stock options (8.6%)
- better training (4.7%)
- 35% replied unhappiness with management
- 33% replied limited opportunities for advancement
- 13% replied lack of recognition
- 13% replied inadequate salary and beneﬁts
- 1% replied bored with their job
- 5% replied other/don’t know
- organizational practices that weaken morale
- poor fit between skills and culture
- no concern for growth and development
- inadequate training.
- "The job is not paying enough."
- "I received a counter offer from my current employer and have decided to stay."
- Equity: (To be treated fairly). In an article for Knowledge @ Wharton, Sirota states " Employees want to know they are getting fair pay, which is normally defined as competitive pay. They want benefits and job security. These days, employees especially need medical benefits, so those have become significant. On the non-financial side, employees want to be treated respectfully, not as children or criminals. Equity is basic. Unless you satisfy those needs, not much else you do is going to help. If I feel underpaid and if I feel that the company is nickeling and diming me, or wants to pay as little as possible, there is not much else an organization can do to boost my morale. This runs contrary to what a lot of people in my field say -- that pay is not that relevant. Baloney. It's terribly, terribly important."
- Achievement: Employees need to take pride in their accomplishments by doing things that matter and doing them well. They need to receive recognition for their accomplishments and take pride in the organization's accomplishments. (Note: This is supported by the Gallop research above.)
- Camaraderie: "The quality of social relationships in the workplace - its `social capital' - ... are critical for effective performance and, therefore, for a sense of achievement in one's work."