Positive recognition works best when public
Presently, each company has a well-documented and developed benefits and compensations system which has proven definitely necessary for an organization. But is it enough? Should companies stop here? Benefits and compensations systems are either general, applicable to all employees or exclusive to the ones meeting predefined criteria. Most involve remuneration or products and services that can easily be quantified in a certain amount of money.
Due to globalization, organizations are developing and expanding fast, using general and universal practices in different areas, even when it comes to employee performance. As each person is different, they will take and perform actions differently, therefore applying the same approach and feedback for everyone does not enable successful performance management at the individual level.
It is certain that all kind of systems involving remuneration and bonuses are necessary, but at the same time they can be defined as incomplete if not accompanied by additional individual performance strategies. One such strategy involves recognition, more specifically positive recognition for employees.
Positive recognition complements other compensative actions and, in order to obtain the maximum benefit, the recommendation is to make it as public as possible. Recognition itself can be diverse, from words of appreciation, recognition diplomas or medals, mentioning within conferences or ceremonies and, the highest form of recognition, through awards. No matter the form of recognition, its public character is relevant in each case and this aspect is due to the fact that it has a greater impact at the individual level, for both the recognition recipient and those who are assisting.
For a person who publicly receives recognition, this fact reflects the sincerity of the message sent through recognition. Compared to the one on one form, public recognition stimulates the individual’s intrinsic motivation and, at the same time, his or her future performance. The future individual performance is boosted in this manner, due to the fact that the employee develops a greater sense of responsibility for his work activity, by having to publicly operate according to the recently received recognition.
Peers and other colleagues, attending this public acknowledgement, are also stimulated to make efforts so that their performance doesn‘t go unnoticed by the company’s leaders. They will also develop respect for the concerned person and will follow his or her examples and advice.
Nevertheless the company itself benefits from using a public recognition system, because it entails a smaller rate of fluctuation and successful employee retention. Through an act of recognition, the company proves to the performing employees that management is constantly aware of each individual’s contribution. For many employees an official recognition can have a greater contribution on their motivation, engagement and, implicitly, on their performance than a reward consisting in an amount of money or a raise.
At its core, public positive recognition comes as an equivalent to an official certification, through which one’s efforts and competences are recognized. It goes even further than recognizing employee performance, it demonstrates appreciation and, therefore, proper valuation.
- Recognition Professionals International (2007), RPI best practice standards
- Public Service (2012), How to celebrate guide
- Taylor, C. (n.d.), The politics of recognition