Why does Employee Recognition work?

When a line manager says THANK YOU to an employee, the ripple effect of the positive affirmation will be felt for a significant amount of time. Not only does the person giving the recognition feel positive, the person receiving the recognition feels appreciated and those around will want to share that feeling too!

Recognition should be timely, frequent, consistent, specific, and visible. The largest generation represented within the UK workforce at present, the Millennials, are the first generation born into a world built on instant gratification. Amazon and Argos allow same-day delivery, order clothes from Next at 9.55 pm to have them delivered the next day. Pose a question of their network on a social media platform and receive 100 responses in minutes. Ask Alexa and get an immediate reply – she will even order it for you! There is no need to wait for anything. And when waiting is required, the reflection on the service is that delivery was poor. So why wait for an annual awards ceremony to say THANK YOU? The team member will have long forgotten the effort and input required to achieve a goal or target. Recognition must be given in a timely fashion and frequently so that the emotions surrounding the achievement of a task are still fresh and in the front of the mind.

Consistent Recognition

Recognition should be not only be frequent but also consistent. However, this does not mean that it should be scheduled to the point where it becomes structured, something that ‘has’ to be done or worst of all, part of a tick list. What it does mean is that recognition should be given wherever and whenever it is deserved. As soon as it is deserved. And if one team member is recognised for achieving a goal, the next employee to hit that target must also be recognised. Of course, members of the same team can, and should, have different goals and targets, but this is where rewards come into play. In terms of those all-important thank yous, all people are created equal.

A line-manager focused on providing a positive team environment, who regularly openly recognises their team, but receives no feedback or recognition for a job well done, will soon become de-motivated and withdrawn. Stephen Covey describes these interactions in terms of an emotional bank account.1 We can all pay out of the bank account (giving praise) but sometimes, we also need a deposit to stay afloat. The top line management is often forgotten in a business, expected to provide all the recognition but never being recognised for their input. Although difficult to engender, recognition up-the-line when encouraged, will provide a team member with the confidence to speak out at that level on several topics. Perhaps they will bring forward an idea for your business that will be revolutionary, save time, make your organisation more effective, or save significant costs. Win-win!

Top Tips for giving Recognition

The strategy below can have huge success when recognising an employee’s hard work and the Vivup higfive app makes it easier than ever to execute.

Firstly, of course, comes telling the employee thank you for the job well done. Then explaining why the action that they have carried out has been recognised and what it means to you and/or your business. Finally, say thank you again and show your appreciation. By following these steps, the team member will see themselves as someone whose actions have a fundamental impact on the bottom line of the business. Additionally, when the team around them knows specifically what you are grateful for and why, actions will be replicated. The recognised team member will also be encouraged to repeat the good work possibly even improving further and those around will aspire to the level set.

The Supporting Statistics
  • 81% of employees would work harder if they were better recognised2.
  • Employees who aren’t recognised are twice as likely to quit within the year3
  • A combination of peer to peer and top-down recognition is 35% more likely than top-down recognition alone to have a positive financial impact on the business.4
  • Businesses with a recognition programme that effectively improves employee engagement have a 31% lower voluntary staff turnover rate.5
  • 90% of employees say that recognition from a line manager positively impacts their engagement with work6.
Interested in implementing Vivup highfive at your business?
For further information please contact our team [email protected]


1 https://www.leaderinme.org/blog/making-deposits-into-your-childs-emotional-bank-account/#:~:text=Dr.,relationship%2C%20one%20makes%20’deposits.



4 https://www.power2motivate.co.uk/news-blog/blog/connecting-employees-with-peer-to-peer-recognition

5 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bersin–associates-unlocks-the-secrets-of-effective-employee-recognition-158548395.html

6 https://petaurumsolutions.co.uk/blog/why-are-employee-rewards-and-recognition-so-important/

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