In conversation recently with a client, we explored cultural barriers to sustaining organisational change and the conversation moved to the topic of recognition.
What is recognition?
Recognition is a constructive response; it is also a judgement made about a persons contribution, reflecting not only on work performance but also personal dedication and engagement. Recognition is engaged in on a regular and/or ad hoc basis, expressed formally or informally, individually or collectively, privately or publically and monetary or non-financial (Brun and Dugas, International journal of HRM (19) 2008). Employee recognition is the acknowledgement of an individual and/or team’s behaviour, effort and accomplishment in support of the organisation as a whole (HR Council). Awarding employees for achieving planned objectives, encouraging repeat performance and higher achievement by all.
Hertzberg’s Motivation Hygiene theory revealed certain characteristics of a job are consistently related to job satisfaction.
McClelland identified three motivators that all humans have:
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, two of the most valuable psychological needs we have as human beings are:
- The need to be appreciated
- The need to belong
Compensation and benefits support a fundamental need, but recognition and career advancement support our higher level psychological needs.
So, why is recognition important and also an enabler for sustainable change?
- It lets employees know their work and contribution is valued and appreciated
- It gives employees a sense of ownership and belonging in their place of work
- Improves moral and employee engagement
- Helps build a supportive work environment and encourages team work
- Increases employee motivation
- Improves retention.
Recognition has 4 main practices and is characterised by 5 types of interactions.
Your recognition should align to all the practices and types of interactions, to ensure you are recognising everyone.
Thank you for reading and I trust it brought enlightenment.
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Winkler-Titus is an Organizational Psychologist in private practice; teach OD and Change theory and practice; supervise internships and serves as a board member for the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology- SA. She enjoys the outdoors, run the occasional half marathon with her husband and mine for opportunities to impact human lives.