Often recognizing staff is confused with promotions and pay. Furthermore, when the focus of the organization is in only achieving business results without a consideration for employee effort, it can lead to staff demoralized and undervalued. Not surprisingly, the 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index indicates that only about 44% employees feel valued by their employers. In APAC the numbers are slightly more encouraging.
Even during the recent global recession McKinsey’s study found that the top three non-financial recognitions staff sought were –
– praise from immediate managers
– leadership attention and,
– a chance to lead projects or task forces
These were incidentally on par or if not more valuable than bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options!
If one looks at the cultural factors that drive recognitions and behavior, India and China staffers are probably more inclined to receive both group and individual kudos. There is also a fear among Indian managers that prevent them from recognizing employees more often to avoid setting expectations of providing monetary rewards as well. Another point of view is to value employees and build a nurturing environment instead of only recognition their efforts. Valuing employees includes listening intently to their needs, investing in personal and professional development and being inclusive in decision making.
That said, with the talent war in India growing, recognitions are becoming an even more powerful communication tool to retain and reward the best. A recent study by Edenred dives deeper into how the best employers in India leverage recognitions to motivate employees and enhance the organization’s culture. Having a good mix of monetary and non-monetary recognition options as well as including employees’ families extends the power of the initiative.
As internal communicators the opportunities are in:
– making recognitions easier
– understanding cultural nuances
– having a transparent process
– building awareness on the importance of recognitions
– designing sustainable programs
– crafting innovative solutions to make recognitions fun and energizing
It however doesn’t take away the immense value of conducting a consistent appraisal as employees continue to expect direct and periodic feedback and affinity and recognition in compassion with their immediate teams.