The Benefits of Employee Recognition

Group of workers recognizing an individual employee while standing in a circle and clapping.

There is a saying A happy employee is a productive employee which was coined in 2010 by Erin Davis of Utah State University. Presented at the 2010 annual American Library Association conference in Washington, D.C. – Erin highlighted the importance of staff development through training, development, and retention.

In another study done by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, researchers found a correlation between employee happiness and a 13% increase in productivity.

Group of employees giving the double thumbs up sign.

Does Employee recognition contribute to an increase in employee happiness?

Today we’re going to take a closer look at two basic principles in the human psyche and much of what we discuss here will be gleaned from an article in Psychology Today titled What is Productivity.

As we look at human productivity, our intention is to create a model that lets us review how employee recognition contributes to employee happiness, satisfaction, and productivity.

Shovel digging into soft fertile soil.

Let’s dig in.

To be productive, most would say an individual needs to be motivated, have natural talent, understand the task at hand, be efficient at time management, be able to seek support from others, and in some cases to be opportunistic. Though most of these traits are likely contributing factors to employee productivity, we would argue that employee productivity is a combination of both internal and external motivations.

Person climbing a red wooden ladder into the sky.

Internal motivation

There are multiple factors that can contribute to an individual being intrinsically motivated. A few possible examples include the status of the employee’s health, family situation, and happiness in the workplace.

As employers, while we can’t naturally force our employees to be healthy, we can provide an environment that is conducive to encouraging a healthy work/life balance. For instance, research shows that an employee that feels appreciated and has a sense that they are getting a fair deal and works in a culture that is inclusive and safe will have higher satisfaction and employee retention.


So what does it look like for an organization to provide a healthy work/life balance?

Culturally we believe that there is no definitive answer to that question, except to look at the current state of employee-employer relationship and begin making adjustments that improve the employee experience in the workplace. Let's take a look at a few suggestions that may get your organization pointed in the right direction.


Woman working from home with headset on laptop with her son coloring next to her.Flexibility in the workplace

Employees want to be empowered to manage their workloads on their own schedule. For instance in a two income family, it may be important for an employee to be able to pick up a sick child from school to take care of them, and still be able to get their work done around the demands of family responsibilities.





Woman working from home with kitchen behind while looking at laptop.Productivity over hours

Demanding that an employee sit at a computer for 8 hours in order to micromanage performance often can lead to dissatisfaction in the workplace. Managers that are focused on productivity are likely to have happier employees that produce higher quality work.





Employees walking while taking a coffee break at the office.Encourage employees to stay healthy

As mentioned above, there is no way to force our employees to stay healthy, but offering regular breaks, encouraging walks, or providing quiet spaces in the office to get away from the noise of a busy work environment may be steps in the right direction.





Group of employees working in a volunteer thrift store.Create volunteer opportunities

Providing opportunities for employees to volunteer or paying the dues for a membership into an organization like Rotary International is a great way to encourage networking and social interactions outside of work. Doing good in the community helps us feel connected to the place we are establishing our roots.





Two women enjoying a corporate parking lot bar b que.Office perks

Though it may not be feasible for employers to offer perks to their employees like gym memberships, in-office chair massages, and company cars – finding ways to thank them for the hard work they’re doing may be as simple as a monthly parking lot bar-b-que.





Woman receiving a recognition trophy from her boss in front of the entire company.Recognition programs

It goes without saying that an employee that feels appreciated and recognized is likely to have a sense of validation for the work they do. Programs to recognize employees for a job well done can be a simple cost effective way to ensure your workers know how much they mean to the company.

Combining a monthly event like a bar-b-que and recognizing your top performers is one way to thank your entire team and single out a few high performers.




Circle of employees with hands stacked celebrating an event.Be creative

Not all companies and work environments are the same and finding the right mix to help your team feel like they are important will deliver results. Though not all people will be motivated by the steps you take, most of your employees will likely appreciate the efforts put forth and gradually the corporate culture will change for the better.



Lucent™ Acrylic Award TrophyAcrylic Plaque AwardColorCast™ Acrylic Award TrophyLaserCut™ Acrylic Award Trophy

US Acrylic Awards can help

Our team is dedicated to offering solutions to corporate recognition that exceed just creating a beautiful acrylic award. As a US based manufacturing company, we struggle with and recognize many of the issues you face daily. From losing key staff to finding new employees – it is always a challenge to motivate people. Our monthly articles are focused on offering ideas to help your organization move forward in a culturally sound direction with a focus on the benefits of employee recognition.

We’re confident in our ability to help companies develop world class Employee Recognition programs and want to be on your team. Give us a call and ask one of our recognition experts for colorful ideas to enhance your team.


Written by noptim unleash the power

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