Organizations put in a lot of effort when it comes to measuring employee engagement levels. However, even the most engaged employee may start slacking or fail to perform well when there is no motivation. So, what is the solution? Employee recognition is the best way to motivate your employees and show them that their efforts are being recognized and valued.

If your organization wants employees to be engaged and focused on what they do, you need to start by tweaking your rewards and recognition processes. Employee recognition needs to be swift, appropriate, heartfelt, and inclusive. This blog will take you through the importance of employee recognition and how it can be practised effectively at workplaces. While we are discussing the topic of recognition, make sure you read our blog on how to re-energize your rewards and recognition system.

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What is employee recognition and why is it important?

If you are wondering why recognition is important, the answer is simple. It is important because people’s efforts need to be acknowledged.

Employee recognition is the acknowledgement of a person’s work, skills, behaviour, or other efforts that are made keeping the organization in mind. Now, most organizations recognize employees for great work done. They give out awards for meeting deadlines, getting new clients, or closing sales. However, it is also important to recognize employees for their attitude, behaviour, skills, and efforts.

Organizations that understand the importance of employee recognition acknowledge employees for helping their peers, staying back for finishing a task, or even being a people’s champion. Every small effort and every small action taken for the greater good of the organization deserves to be recognized.

Why should employees be engaged at work?

Why is employee engagement such a big deal? Let’s say a person cooks the same meal on two different occasions. On day one, he is fully engaged at the job and does it right, without missing anything from the recipe list. On the second day, he is bored or tired and generally disengaged from the cooking process. On which day do you think the meal would taste better?

Any job that is done with focus and full engagement turn out to be successful.

Engaged employees do their jobs with passion and this directly affects their productivity and performance. One of the end values of recognition is to help employees be more engaged at work, and that is why employee engagement is a word your management needs to take very seriously.

How does employee recognition help improve employee engagement levels?

There are multiple benefits of employee recognition in a workplace, apart from improved engagement levels. However, for this blog’s sake, we will be covering only the importance of employee recognition which makes it an inevitable booster of engagement levels. You can read through the general purpose of rewards and recognition programs here.

1. Improved productivity

Without a doubt, employee recognition programs boost employee productivity. Human brains are designed to repeat tasks that are appreciated or recognized. As a result, when you recognize an employee for a task well done, that person is going to keep up the good work to keep the bars high. To make sure the level of performance doesn’t fall, the employee is going to remain engaged at work.

A workplace survey states that employee recognition is one of the biggest drivers of engagement. Employees who are regularly recognized are 2.7 times more likely to stay engaged. That is a staggering figure you just cannot ignore.

Engaged Employees


2. Improves employee morale

The importance of employee recognition also lies in the fact that it improves morale. Morale is a very tricky word. It relates to the overall employee outlook and satisfaction of working for an organization. It might include a lot of things, starting from how people are treated to how well they get along with peers, the workplace culture, the physical space, the kind of job they do, and more.

Employee recognition gives a positive spin to how a person feels. As a result, HR experts feel that recognition can improve employee morale. And when an employee is in a great mood, their relationship with work gets better, and can eventually lead to improved engagement levels.

3. Sets a base for future performance

Engagement is higher in relationships that are long-lasting. Do you agree? When employees have a future in the company to look forward to and better positions to move to over time, they are more engaged with what they do.

And therein lies the importance of employee recognition. It helps employees to dream about a future with the company. Which means, it organically helps improve engagement levels.

When employees feel that they are recognized, they assume that the top management is aware of their good work. As a result, they start believing that they will be offered a promotion or will be given a better role. This automatically makes them more engaged in their work.

4. Reinforces the right values

This is a slight extension of what was discussed before. Have you heard of the carrot and the stick approach? Experts believe a carrot (a reward) encourages an animal to move forward of its own will, without the need to prod from behind. The same theory applies to humans. Any reward, when enticing, will encourage a person to act in a way that would ensure more such rewards.

Therefore, when an employee is recognized for being engaged at work, this is automatically going to encourage them to stay engaged, expecting recognition for the same. Employee recognition can act as a carrot, encouraging employees to become more engaged.

5. Drives better use of workplace opportunities

The importance of employee recognition also lies in the fact that it encourages better use of workplace opportunities. What does that mean?

Employees who are recognized at their workplace to look for more opportunities to improve themselves and become worthy of future recognition and rewards. They go grabbing for workplace opportunities with passion. Recognition also motivates employees to use learning platforms willingly, without the management making such learning mandatory. They start attending training sessions voluntarily, to improve themselves, and not just for the sake of it.

So, make sure your employee recognition program is designed to spot people who use such opportunities well and acknowledge them for it. You can use PossibleWorks’ R&R tools to recognize such employees quickly and regularly and make sure their efforts are known internally to everyone who matters.

Also, did you know that we have a gamification-based employee recognition tool that makes recognition fun and super interesting? Get in touch with us to know more about this.

Creating a culture of recognition

The importance of employee recognition cannot be ignored in the workplace. If your team has been focusing too much on employee engagement and underestimating the value of recognition, then you may not have been seeing appropriate results.

Employee recognition is not a one-time thing though. You cannot recognize employees for a couple of quarters and then forget about them. It is essential that you create a culture of recognition.

What does that mean? It means employee recognition becomes one of your core values and you do this regularly and with utmost transparency. Your employees should start believing that their good work will be recognized, and you won’t disappoint them on that front.

The first step to doing this is realizing you cannot manually create and handle such a recurring system. You will need the right technology to back your HR team. You will need tools to automate milestone awards so that none of the employees feels left out. You will need a platform that makes it easy for employees to recognize one another and help build this culture. You will need a system that encourages employee recognition to be posted socially so that people can participate in encouraging good work.


Did you know that you can use PossibleWorks’ R&R tool to make the process of employee recognition a piece of cake? This and more, so you act on optimizing your employee recognition program first and then expect employees to stay engaged.

All in all, employee engagement is a vital factor in improving productivity and performance in a workplace. After all, productivity and performance together can positively affect growth and revenues. Your employee recognition program will act as the foundation on which engagement levels will be built. Hence, make sure the foundation is strong and sturdy.

Are you using the right technology for your Recognition programs?

Check out our Buyer’s Guide to Employee Recognition software Or Book a Demo

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