Recognition plays a pivotal role in boosting employee engagement, well-being, and a sense of belonging. To ensure that your recognition efforts have a meaningful impact, authenticity is key.
Here are five compelling reasons why organizations should prioritize authentic recognition:
- Authentic Recognition is a Matter of Respect – Employees can discern when recognition is insincere or patronizing. Such forms of recognition erode trust and confidence in the workplace. In fact, a mere 8% of employees who receive inauthentic recognition feel that they are treated with respect at work. On the flip side, those who receive authentic recognition are seven times more likely to report being treated with respect.
- Authentic Recognition Reflects Organizational Culture – Authentic recognition signals that an organization’s words are trustworthy and meaningful, establishing a foundation for an honest and dependable organizational culture. Employees who receive authentic recognition are five times more likely to believe that their organization upholds ethical standards and does the right thing. They also feel more connected to their organization’s culture.
- Authentic Recognition Affirms Employees’ Value – Regardless of the words used, all recognition communicates one central message to employees: “You are valued.” Employees who perceive recognition as authentic are seven times more likely to strongly agree that they are valued team members. Moreover, they tend to feel valued in other aspects of their work and are four times more likely to believe they are fairly compensated.
- Authentic Recognition Clarifies Progress and Performance – Authentic recognition provides clarity about an employee’s standing. Those who strongly agree that their recognition is authentic are six times more likely to understand how their manager evaluates their performance. This understanding empowers them to make adjustments based on feedback.
- Authentic Recognition Inspires Confidence in Future Opportunities – Employees who receive authentic recognition are more confident in the fairness and transparency of career advancement opportunities. They are five times more likely to believe that recognition is distributed equitably based on performance, four times more likely to think their organization offers opportunities to reach the highest levels, and six times more likely to trust their managers and leaders to make fair decisions about their development.
The authenticity of recognition profoundly impacts the employee experience. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to foster trust and equity in your organization. However, organizations must be mindful that not all employees perceive recognition as equally authentic. Some demographic groups, like Black women and Hispanic men and women, tend to have lower endorsement and higher skepticism regarding recognition authenticity. Improving the authenticity of recognition can have an even greater impact on these employees.
In conclusion, how organizations recognize their employees’ contributions can significantly shape the employee experience. Authentic recognition validates an organization’s trustworthiness, fairness, and values. To make recognition authentic, managers should follow these guidelines:
- Be genuine.
- Be clear.
- Be selective.
- Be purposeful.
- Be targeted.
- Be concrete.
By adhering to these principles, organizations can build an authentic recognition process that fosters a positive workplace culture.