Why is the feeling of accomplishment so important?
Every employee wants to feel a sense of accomplishment - that’s obvious. Who wants to feel like their hard work isn't worthwhile?
Achieving goals and feeling proud of the work you’ve done, gives you a sense of purpose. It's something we all – hopefully, feel most of the time in our careers. In fact, the Happiness Research Institute found that setting achievable targets is the fourth most important factor in increasing employee engagement.
When you feel a sense of accomplishment, you naturally become more engaged in your work. And it's this feeling that motivates you to go the extra mile.
How to encourage a sense of accomplishment
1. Set achievable targets
If a task seems too complicated, unachievable, or too far outside your skill-set, you'll likely feel overwhelmed and disheartened. When faced with an unmanageable task, most people will detach themselves from it – why bother engaging with work you can't complete to the best of your ability?
That’s why setting realistic and achievable targets is so important if you want your employees to feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s simple really, when employees feel comfortable in their abilities, they'll perform at a higher level.
When they do something well, this doesn't only make them feel accomplished. It has a knock-on effect throughout the entire team. Which, of course, is great for employee morale.
That said, it’s important to keep challenging your employees. Most people will soon get bored with repetitive tasks. Understanding your employees' capabilities is key to setting achievable targets. Aim to give them tasks that push them a little bit outside of their comfort zone. But not so much that it overwhelms them.
2. Offer support but don’t micromanage
If you're setting a particularly complex task, it's very easy to slip into the trap of micromanaging. We've all probably been there at some point in our careers. But you really should avoid being overly critical or overbearing. This will only knock your team's confidence and is a horrible employee experience – for both of you.
A more encouraging and productive way of managing complicated projects is to split them into smaller achievable goals. This way, you can smooth out any problems along the way, while also rewarding your teams more frequently.
3. Offer constructive criticism
Sometimes things don’t go to plan, and there are failures or shortcomings in a project. It’s a natural part of any project - there will always be a margin of human error, and you can’t avoid or control these things.
What you can positively control, though, is how you respond to it. There’s no point in dwelling on failures or simply pointing fingers - it won’t help anyone to productively identify where they went wrong, or work on how to avoid the same problems in the future.
Sit down with your team and talk about what could have been better, and what could be improved upon in the future. Get their feedback as well as giving your own - how could your leadership have better? How could you have supported your team more fully to prevent these issues in the first place?
Being understanding and focusing on improvement rather than criticism, will create a culture of feedback in your workplace where colleagues feel comfortable sharing, asking for and receiving analysis of their performance. Studies have shown how important constructive feedback is: nearly half of workers are actively disengaged when they receive little or no feedback, and a near majority of 82% of employees appreciate both positive and negative feedback.
As a side note - if you find yourself struggling to keep up with getting regular feedback from your employees, consider using a pulse survey tool. You'll be able to gather and act on employee feedback, all while improving employee engagement. Replacing cumbersome annual reviews with something more agile can really streamline and improve your feedback process, helping your business to grow even faster.
4. Reward hard work properly
It can be easy to forget to recognise and reward your employees’ accomplishments. We all know what it’s like when your workload starts piling up, and you've a million things to think about - at times like that, giving your employees positive encouragement and praise can feel like the last thing on your to-do list.
But don’t worry - it’s not just you that sometimes forgets the importance of praise and rewards. In a survey conducted over the course of ten years, interviewing a whopping 2.5 million employees in 237 organisations, from 89 countries, only 51% of workers were satisfied with the recognition they received for a job well done. That’s nearly half of the world’s workforce that feel under-appreciated!
One concrete way of showing your employees how much you appreciate them, and for those really big accomplishments, is to give them a material reward - whether that’s an experience, gift or voucher. One of the hardest things can be sourcing and implementing an employee reward system, at a budget that suits you.
That’s where Celebration hub comes in.
Celebration hub is an engaging, hassle-free platform that lets you recognise and reward your employees’ - wherever in the world they are. Whether it’s acknowledging the ‘Unsung Hero of the Week’ for their contributions, recognising someone going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’, or congratulating people for a completed project – Celebration hub lets you showcase and reward them. Other people can also see why someone has been recognised, adding a social aspect to recognition.
And why keep recognition and rewards for accomplishments to just a top-down system? Having a productive work environment is about working as a team - and teams work best when they recognise each others’ hard work and communicate about their accomplishments. With Celebration hub, people can recognise each other, whether they're across the desk from each other or across the world.
Celebration hub also lets users create polls to reward and incentivise each other’s accomplishments, and promote healthy competition. Even better, you can set polls that align with your company’s goals and values, and endorse specifically valued contributions to the company ethos.
And for when work really is outstanding and deserving of a material reward, Perkbox has that sorted. You can send your employees Reward points which they can use on a wide range of rewards that we've curated. Your team can choose from a range of rewards such as big brand gift cards, experience days, cinema tickets and more!
What are the benefits of creating a sense of accomplishment?
When your employees have a sense of accomplishment, you'll likely experience the following benefits:
Higher job performance
Employees who feel accomplished in what they do tend to produce higher quality work than those who don’t. If you think about the times you’ve excelled at your job, you probably remember feeling highly motivated and productive. Harnessing this positive energy benefits everyone. So it's not surprising that businesses with highly motivated employees also have healthy returns and high retention rates. They understand their star performers need to be challenged but not overloaded.
To learn more about how you can retain your top performers, read our helpful guide
Having a sense of purpose and feeling fulfilled is empowering and builds resilience. The average working day is 8 hours, a third of your entire day. So it's important you enjoy what you do. Of course, we all have bad days, but as long as we feel accomplished most of the time, they won't have an impact on our overall wellbeing. Lots of organisations are recognising the importance of wellbeing and its effect on employee experience. So in addition to making tasks more manageable, they're also investing in wellbeing gifts and digital wellbeing resources, like our Wellness hub for example.
A more supportive culture
Success is one of the most powerful factors that can uplift a department. Whether it's hitting that sales target or ranking number one on Google. Everybody loves a win. So make the most of these moments and prioritise celebrating them. Using a reward and recognition platform, such as our Celebration hub makes recognition simple, as everything you need is in an easy-to-use app. Usually, a recognition platform is part of a more comprehensive employee experience solution, which is developed by a benefits provider.
Can employees work without feeling accomplishment?
Employees can–and many do– work without feeling accomplishment. But that doesn’t mean they work as hard or productively as they could, or in a way that they’re happy with. In other cases, people might feel a personal sense of accomplishment in their workplace but can feel like their hard work hasn’t been recognised by their colleagues and managers.
This is absolutely key to understanding how to enable your employees to feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. Hard work needs to be recognised in order for employees to really feel like they’ve achieved something.
Why is a sense of accomplishment so rare?
Some jobs naturally don’t receive as much praise. Those in front-facing roles, for example, are more likely to receive direct praise for their work, whereas those in finance or managerial roles might not receive as much direct praise.
But that doesn’t mean that those people don’t need or deserve the same level of recognition for their accomplishments - in fact, it’s more likely that they need even more praise as their achievements are less instantly tangible. Without that crucial sense of recognition for your work, it can be easy to feel demoralised and disengaged with your work.
When you recognise and reward your employees, you're showing you care about them as individuals and invaluable members of your team. It shows that you acknowledge the hard work they’re putting in, and appreciate the discipline and innovation that they’re bringing to work every single day.
But without a good employee rewards system, it’s hard to keep that up - and even harder to maintain a consistent sense of accomplishment and motivation for your employees. But if that sounds like too big of a job in your already busy schedule, don’t worry - we’ve streamlined it all for you into one, easy-to-use system.
4 steps for how to create a sense of accomplishment:
- Set achievable targets
- Offer support but don't micromanage
- Look at failure constructively, not degradingly
- Reward hard work properly
If you want to know how Perkbox can help you build a sense of accomplishment, request a demo, and a member of our team will get back to you.
Sense of accomplishment in the workplace: your FAQs answered
What does a sense of accomplishment mean in the workplace?
When people feel a sense of accomplishment they're proud of their work. Simply put, it's that sense of satisfaction that comes with finishing something challenging. When we complete lots of small and repetitive tasks, we won't feel accomplished. The task has to be just outside of our comfort zone, but not too far that it causes distress. When something is challenging it prompts growth and development, which increases employee engagement.