Employee Recognition: Why Does Praise Matter More Than a Raise?

by wpengine on August 12, 2014 in Culture, Workforce


Employees, as humans, are social creatures that strive for a primal sense of comradery and acceptance. That being said, it’s no secret that appreciated employees are the most productive and engaged team members. However, with active engagement statistics being a popular topic as of late, the question of whether or not employees feel genuinely appreciated comes into play.

Employees do not leave their jobs for bigger salaries, vacation perks, or even for the free cereal. The number one reason employees seek greener pastures is because they don’t feel appreciated at their current digs. Statistics have continuously shown that there is a rather large gap between how management and employees perceive the company’s recognition efforts. According to Globoforce, “Nearly 75% of organizations have a recognition program (despite the fact that only 58% of employees think that their organizations have recognition programs).”

All in all, recognition programs are a sound investment that have been proven to help reduce turnover, boost morale, and positively impact business results. So how can you recognize your employees to show their value while increasing productivity across the business? We’ve compiled this list of do’s and don’ts to get you started creating or revamping your employee recognition program.


Offer an incentive. The most popular kind of recognition program is the public rewarding of trophies and plaques, closely followed by cash and gift cards.

Get the facts straight. Make sure you acknowledge the correct employee for the good work.

Create a culture of recognition. Make acknowledgement and praise part of your company’s daily routine. Start a process and an outlet for employees and management to recognize each other and it’ll become an organic part of your culture in no time.


Be vague: Don’t acknowledge someone simply for doing a “good job.” Make sure you are specific in your recognition so people know exactly what they did that deserves praise.

Overlook helping hands. Give credit where credit is due. If a team actively contributed on a project be sure to recognize every single person who made a positive impact and worked toward the success of the business.

Go overboard. Don’t get crazy and throw a huge party or anything. A simple thank you note or a small gift card goes a long way. Small gestures are memorable to employees and spark motivation for increased performance.

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