As a business leader, it’s easy to recognize an employee who plays well with your customers and suppliers. These people strengthen your business relationships, after all, which leads to a stronger company with a greater public standing. Don’t let your focus on these high performers distract you from the staff members who work well internally, however. Research suggests what many assume – that these people are a critical part of your company’s success. Supporting them through recognition increases their engagement, which in turn has a positive impact on their performance and your business’s ability to reach its goals.
Who Do You Recognize?
Take a look around your office and reflect on who has received the most appreciation over the past few months. Is it the woman who consistently receives great customer feedback, or the young man who always exceeds his sales goals? These people deserve high praise, of course, but if they’re the only ones to receive such compliments from managers and executives, then your company leaders are likely ignoring a large group of hard workers.
As the Harvard Business Review reported, research from TINYpulse found internal collaborators – people with many connections within a business but perhaps fewer outside of it – are more likely to be recognized by their peers than those who work primarily externally. In a partnership with Microsoft Workplace Analytics, TINYpulse tracked how often employees sent praise to one another using a simple tool called Cheers for Peers.
Interestingly, the people who received the most recognition from their direct peers spent more time collaborating internally rather than working with people outside the company. In the go-to-market segment, for example, favored employees spent four more hours per week communicating with their coworkers. These people also had an average of 27 work-related internal connections, compared to 20 for those who didn’t receive as many cheers.
You notice the employees who do well with customer and client meetings, but your employees appreciate the people who work closely with them. As a leader, it’s important to recognize these individuals as well. Not only do they appreciate receiving compliments from their bosses, but thanking these people for a job well done shows that you don’t just prioritize a single set of skills in your staff members. Rather, it shows you appreciate people for their individual strengths.
When thanking these employees for a job well done, make sure your comments are authentic, timely and within the context of your company’s overall goal. Forbes pointed out that targeted praise that shows how a person’s performance performance contributes to your company’s priorities is much more effective than a random compliment. A statement such as, “Thanks to your quick responses to your team’s emails, we were able to finish this project ahead of our deadline,” carries far more weight than, “Good job emailing Ted in accounting!”
Want to boost your employee recognition and strengthen your company’s goals? Learn how April 20 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco during our Goal Summit 2017 conference.