Why tiny actions deserve BIG recognition

Why tiny actions deserve BIG recognition

Every company, of every kind, runs on one ingredient — human capital.

From the entry-level analyst at an investment firm, to a mid level regional sales manager at a consumer products chain, to even the upper echelon of a C-suite executive at a Fortune 500 firm — the DNA where culture is sowed, and profits are harvested, emanates from its people.

So why is it, that we often wait until the end of a quarter, or year, to reward our most precious resource (our people)?

Quarterly performance reviews and annual bonuses are the norm at most organizations, regardless of their industry, sector, market cap or global disposition. For employees in quantifiable or public roles — like sales, marketing or management — results are often pegged to increased growth rates, that yield commissions and promotions.

However, how do we reward back office clerical staff, accounting personnel, HR managers, store associates, graphic designers, back-end coders, and the like, whose roles may not directly lend themselves to obvious metric-style financial benchmarks and thus correlated recognition?

Turns out one of the leading causes for employee attrition, actually is not a derivative of compensation stagnation or the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ that prevents employees from rising the ranks with promotions — rather, it is the overwhelming lack of appreciation that employee efforts — demonstrated in small daily doses — fail to receive by leadership, when it’s right in front of their noses!

When employees provide not just satisfactory, but outstanding customer service, support services, teamwork, engineering acumen, or financial wizardry — we, as leaders, must stop and recognize those individuals, publicly, for all to cheer on.

I implore all leadership to fully embrace this ethos, and show their full appreciation in front of other employees by letting their employee know that what they did right there, was superb, above board, and deserving of a round of applause by all. This, not only sets a new standard within our organizational walls for celebrating small wins, it also builds momentum for the entire team to celebrate often, as we march toward our larger, individual and collective goals.

Too often, executives and managers don’t take a moment to pull an employee aside to let them know that their contributions day in, and day out, are not going un-noticed, rather in fact, they are being noticed!

Recognition costs us nothing, but means almost everything, to most.

Plus, recognition has its network effects on growth too. According to a 2018 Society of Human Resource Survey, 80% of HR professionals reported that their organization had a [formal] employee recognition program.

But, are formal recognition programs working? The report also points out that of the vast majority of organizations (93%) that conduct employee performance reviews, only about one-half of HR professionals (51%) agree that their organization’s performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of employees’ work.

Recognition increases employee retention (and workplace happiness too). Retention/turnover was the top workforce management challenge cited by 47% of HR professionals, followed by recruitment (36%). Most respondents in the SHRS survey agreed recognition can help create a positive workplace culture and employee experience, and more than one-half said their program positively affects retention (68%) and recruitment (56%).

Long story short — we all love to feel appreciated for the big and the small, the challenging and the minute — as part of our calling for joining a specific company is to feel a greater sense of purpose, make an impact and be rewarded.

Whether you have a formal recognition program, or just a few high fives — recognition — even in small doses — goes miles, and costs virtually nothing.

Next time you see a fellow colleague, employee, or your boss demonstrate excellence, even in the smallest way, stop and recognize it. It might just mean everything to them in that one, tiny moment. 👏👏