If, after investing a good amount of time and effort in a project, you got to choose either a generic “Well done!” ore more insightful feedback, what would you go for?
Both types of comments can boost employee motivation, engagement, and performance. Based on my 20+ years of experience in HR, however, I feel confident predicting the vast majority of us would go for the second option.
Effective employee recognition is a challenge for any company, but getting recognition right is more important than ever today. Recognition drives retention, which in turn drives cost savings, productivity, and better customer experiences.
It all comes down to the fact that when people feel recognized, they feel appreciated. When they feel appreciated, they feel happy. In fact, according to a survey from SurveyMonkey and Bonusly, 82 percent of employees feel recognition is an important part of their happiness at work. Furthermore, 90 percent of workers say recognition motivates them to work harder, according to a report from Achievers. That means recognition is tied directly to performance.
The Difference Between Employee Recognition and Praise
It is imperative for organizations to develop systems to prioritize employee recognition, given the immense benefits they stand to gain from doing so. However, it’s important to understand the difference between recognition and praise. While both can have a positive effect on employees’ attitudes, recognition tends to have a more more powerful and longer-lasting impact.
The main difference between praise and recognition is that recognition is specific while praise is generic. Recognition involves the act of giving employees feedback based on their results and performance. True recognition is built on useful insights and detailed observations.
Why is recognition so valuable to workers? Because employees appreciate receiving insightful feedback after working hard. Employees need recognition to understand the purpose of what they do; recognition helps them see how their work contributes to the overall success of the company and/or project. In this way, recognition helps employees feel more fulfilled at work, and therefore more likely to stick around.
On the other hand, praise generally consists of generic comments that boost self-esteem and make people feel motivated at a specific moment. Effective praise can help teams meet tight deadlines or achieve ambitious goals. However, praise can easily become a demotivator if employees feel it is insincere or not genuine in some way. That’s why it’s best to use praise sparingly and to steer toward specific recognition when possible…