Employee Recognition

Do employee recognition programs really work? Here’s what we know

employee recognition programs

Running your own employee recognition program can be tough. Sometimes it may seem like the end is not in sight. 

That’s because it’s not something that happens overnight. In fact, the rewards can only be reaped from consistency in a solid recognition strategy that actually works.

Once you’ve fleshed out your rock-solid recognition strategy, you’ve got to put it in place, as well as put in the hard work and keep the momentum going.

And when you do so, your business will experience an increase in productivity, higher levels of employee engagement, better employee retention and as a result, it will also positively impact your bottom line.

In fact, the results speak for themselves. For example, did you know that…


  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their work was more appreciated
  • 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction
  • Companies with effective recognition programs have 31% lower turnover rate

Those are some hard-hitting facts that really do prove employee recognition works. But the question still remains.

How exactly?

Here’s what we know:


Recognition is a human psychological need

That’s right, the evidence is in the science. Two of the most valuable psychological needs are to feel appreciated and to also feel like you ‘belong’, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Thankfully, these needs can be met in the workplace with (you guessed it) recognition from peers and superiors, as well as with a great, inclusive company culture.

What’s more, is that according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, recognition directly supports career and professional development, falling just underneath it in the triangle. Of course, this makes sense as to why employees who feel recognised, are much more motivated to climb the career ladder, and are highly engaged.

Want to create your very own recognition program but not sure where to start? We have a useful resource for you. It’s your 10 step guide to building your very own successful recognition program.


Recognition creates engaged employees

We’re sure you know that employee recognition creates a more engaged workforce and engaged employees make better businesses.

According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce report, engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees, across industry and company-size, in both good economic times and bad.

The report indicated that compared with business units in the bottom quartile of engagement, those in the top saw the following improvements:


  • 41% lower absenteeism
  • 24% lower turnover in high-turnover organisations
  • 59% lower turnover in low-turnover organisations
  • 28% less employee theft
  • 70% fewer employee safety incidents
  • 17% higher productivity
  • 20% higher sales

Those are some impressive stats!


Recognition is more motivating than higher pay

And finally, what employees want from their jobs isn’t more benefits or a higher paying salary, it’s more recognition for their work efforts.

In fact, studies have shown that money isn’t everything to employees. Whilst, of course, it is a big motivating factor, it’s not the biggest.

When employees feel that their work efforts are appreciated, they’ll go the extra mile and their work becomes more meaningful to them, taking pride in what they do.

In other words, they don’t just come to work to pay the bills. They come to work to improve who they are as a person, develop their careers and connect with meaningful work and people that they enjoy.

Final thoughts

Here’s one more reason to consider. Have you ever seen employee happiness sky-rocket the moment you praise and reward? That’s one huge motivation to believe recognition and engagement programs really work.

Well, what are you waiting for? 

It’s time to get on the recognition train and start recognising your employees day-to-day. Each day that you don’t recognise and reward your employees is a missed opportunity to compete with industry players that are already doing so.

Each day you choose not to recognise is a lost opportunity to start changing the way your employees work and what your company culture looks like. 

Let’s get your company well on the way to experiencing more customer satisfaction, better sales and an increase in employee absenteeism and turnover.

You can start by learning how to create your very own employee recognition program. Here is your 10 step guide to building a recognition program from scratch👇

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