Social recognition: the modern secret to employee happiness

Hannah Sims · 30 Mar

As we preach on a daily basis, happy employees mean happy profit margins.

Yet, despite this well-known fact, companies consistently struggle to put into place health and well-being programs that are either manageable in the long-term, or that truly deliver the vibrant, happy and healthy employees that they envisage. For all too many companies this can lead to ever expanding budgets and more and more soft costs in the form of the time taken out of the day to manage the programs.
Still it is only now that the business world is truly clocking on to the things that make for lower staff turnovers and better productivity. That is to say, they are only just starting to focus on making sure every employee feels trusted, appreciated and respected. These three key elements are all inherently linked to social recognition, and here we take a look at how you can introduce these values to your business.

The 4 core ingredients for employee happiness

Forget about what you think you know about employee wellbeing. As increasing bodies of research find it is not necessarily work-life balance, diet, exercise or anything in between that makes for a happy workplace. Rather, it’s a workplace that boasts:

1) Trust

2) Collaboration

3) Employee visibility

4) Employee voices that are truly heard by the management above them

How can you create these values in a workplace? 

1. Make recognition meaningful and provide it frequently


Within our personal lives recognition comes often and is natural – from talking about our days and the little things that we may have achieved to updating our social media statuses that can be celebrated in flurry of likes.
Yet, within the workplace, recognition is stilted, unnatural and all too often, non-forthcoming. Transitioning to a workplace where recognition for positive efforts is made often is something that can only be achieved with conscious effort, where managers thank their staff each day, where workers are provided with weekly feedback where their achievements are celebrated (such as employee of the week initiatives) and where the chance for continual career advancement is always possible, rather than years away.

2. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition


A recent survey found that millennials place a higher priority on helping people in need than having a high-paying career. Allowing employees to satisfy their thirst for social consciousness will qualify you for the elite category of employer that offers both. Support their endeavours, be this running a marathon or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Why not also share achievements on your company’s social media, giving them the recognition they so crave.

3. Streamline and supercharge communication


Only 29% of millennials define “healthy” as not being sick, compared to 46% of baby boomers. From this, it is clear that millennials see wellbeing not just as an absence of illness, as other generations do, but instead adopt a more holistic approach.

Yoga is a great way to dispel stress and eliminate any problems a sedentary lifestyle can give rise to. Hire an instructor to run monthly classes or offer subsidies to cover the cost of external classes. Demonstrably making an investment, albeit small, in the health of your millennials will make them less likely to bite the hand that feeds them!

Need a wellness program? Try Perkbox.

4. Take recognition of the little things


As a final pointer, it’s important to remember that social recognition shouldn’t merely be something that creates prize winners each week or month, nor should it be something that is only for the ‘best’ employees. It should aim to recognise each and every employee. Key to this is creating a culture within which managers and workers appreciate, recognise and thank one another for the things that make their lives that little bit easier.
Want to know how you can better recognise your employees? Learn more about Perkbox by clicking here.

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