The importance of embedding a culture of recognition

In the US, the first Friday in March is traditionally known as Employee Appreciation Day, but this is increasingly being recognised beyond the North American boundaries. This event was created by Dr Bob Nelson whose worked has helped many organisations create a culture of recognition.

The clue is in the name – appreciation. Everyone likes to be appreciated. And creating and maintaining a culture of recognition is so important at a time when the post covid workforce is still in a state of flux. Talent is in short supply and the best employees can pick and choose. If, as an organisation you want to keep your employees, enable their best performance and attract the best talent, you have to embed a culture that recognises and rewards employee effort.

Mark the day

In the course of an ordinary working day, it’s sometimes hard to prioritise employee appreciation. Observing Employee Appreciation Day is a tangible way to demonstrate that an organisation takes this seriously.

So, what exactly happens on Employee Appreciation Day? Well that’s largely down to the individual organisation but some examples of how this is marked include allowing employees to leave early, giving them a gift, taking them out for food and drinks, creating special awards – there are lots of things that you can do to mark the day, make your people feel validated and ensure that you really can evidence a culture of recognition. Done properly it can really be the difference between happy and disgruntled employees.

The long shadow of the pandemic

The world changed when COVID hit, and it also changed the way we work permanently. The Great Resignation saw lots of people leave the workforce and although a hybrid working format is increasingly more common than remote working, the full-time office worker is a rarity. So, it can be difficult for organisations to show their appreciation when face to face time is significantly reduced.

With a reduced workforce, availability of skills is also reduced. This means that the best people can pick and choose who they work for, and loyalty is not a given. Sometimes money and terms and the best tech really are not enough. The pandemic ushered in a time of uncertainty, and we can’t be sure there won’t be another. Perhaps it’s for this reason that recognition and appreciation are increasingly key drivers of employee engagement – if we can’t take the status quo for granted, perhaps happiness is more important than remuneration.

A positive working environment every day of the year

Employee engagement of course is not dependent on observance of one day, no matter how enjoyable a day of recognition may be for your workforce. In fact, it’s probably the less visible things that make employees decide that their organisation is a good place to work. Employees need to have a voice, need to feel that their opinion matters and need to have a channel whereby they can communicate their concerns and know that they are heard.

A culture of recognition is the responsibility of the leadership team and chances are the HR department may be responsible for establishing the corporate practices which make employees feel valued. But beyond the remit of HR, there’s more that can be done to make every working day less stressful and more productive. Self-development in our personal lives is often predicated on the need to see the bigger picture, to not ‘sweat the small stuff’. If as employers, we establish working practices which enable our people to do the same, then that will go some way towards creating a positive working environment.

Automate to optimise

Many roles incorporate tedious manual tasks. It’s not always possible to elevate the ask above the menial, but where organisations can employ automation to reduce manual tasks and give their people greater scope to engage with the more creative aspects of their role, really it’s a win win all round. Happier employees, greater productivity, less operator error.

If one way to optimise your time is to streamline your contract management processes, Four Business solutions can help.

Contract Insight

Contract Insight is our contract management software of choice and it can put automation to work for you, enabling contract management with a few clicks of the mouse – from the initial supplier or customer onboarding, verification and due diligence through to the contract preparation and negotiation to the signed document. Click here to find out more.

Or alternatively, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions – global business consultants and software integrators specialising in business process improvement.