Based on the Salary.com Employee Job Satisfaction & Retention Survey 2007 / 2008, 17% of employees leave a job due to insufficient recognition.
It’s scary to think that nearly one in five people who’ve left your company, did so because they weren’t getting enough recognition. I’m shocked that recognition is such a problem, as it’s something that’s very easy to do, and takes very little time.
Recognition is an important part of the feedback process. It only takes a couple minutes, but can make a big difference in employee performance and retention. It helps to show employees that their accomplishments are valued by their team, and manager. The problem is we’re all so busy and it’s so easy to forget to recognize people for their good work. But as any good team player knows, we’ve got to pick each other up.
Another challenge is that recognition is typically very top-down. I don’t understand why it needs to be. When I think of typical employee recognition, I think of a manager selecting the Employee of the Month. But there’s more to it and it’s important that this stereotype changes. To me, it’s just as important that I receive recognition from my peers as from my manager, even just a quick “good job.”
At Rypple we’ve built a culture around feedback, recognition and coaching, encouraging everyone to recognize our teammates’ accomplishments when they happen (not months later). We frequently send “Thanks” recognizing good work that normally would be forgotten and not celebrated. We award badges, like “Creative” or “Wiz,” for bit of personalization and fun and we usually make these Thanks public so the whole company can see them.
Here’s an example of a recent Thanks:
Update: There’s a great discussion about recognition going on over at Hacker News.