Despite numerous studies proving praise is the most practical and effective tool in the workplace for improving performance and morale, 74 percent of companies do not practice nor emphasize praising their employees.
Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton conducted a study of 200,000 people over a 10-year period, proving that constructive praise, effective recognition and meaningful rewards net powerful results for both employees and their companies.
All CEOs want their companies to succeed, from a private company wanting to increase profits to a public company striving to increase its stock value. At the base of success lies the employees and their collective performance. Compliments help to build one’s confidence and self-esteem. It’s no secret that employees who receive positive feedback feel better, like their bosses and like their work.
The benefits of regularly acknowledging a job well done don’t negate employees wanting to be paid fair wages, wages that allow them to live comfortably, if not luxuriously. Yet numerous managers don’t practice providing positive feedback to their employees.
According to Awards Network, “Sometimes words of praise are not a part of a person’s vocabulary…People often have to learn employee recognition program phrases and see examples of how others are recognizing employees before they can start to recognize employees. If a company agrees to set up a formal employee recognition program, provide managers specific and detailed examples of how to appropriately acknowledge employees for their performances.”
Ideally, hiring managers with superb communication skills and a positive approach to leadership would help a company improve its environment and company culture.
According to a recent Gallup poll, only 35 percent of employees feel engaged in their jobs — only 15 percent worldwide. Gallup also found that managers/team leaders account for 70 percent of the variance in team engagement. Hence, a negative manager is bound to deter his team from the type of performance wanted.
The poll also found that despite receiving a good salary, employees need more than a periodic event to increase engagement. Employees’ past values showed the paycheck was the goal. Now employees care about their purpose; they want to be recognized for their talents that make them stand out from others.
Another important factor in employee engagement is a good relationship with their boss, a real leader who coaches them to the next level of accomplishment.
A disappointing statistic is that even with a formal engagement program, 85 percent of employees worldwide are still not engaged. This is sometimes attributed to the way HR introduces the plan.
Leaders may blame other problems, such as the environment, the philosophy or the tools for measuring success. An actual problem may be that the program is too complicated. The metrics are “too complicated by focusing on predictors outside of the managers’ control and don’t relate to employees’ core psychological needs.”
There are also too many “pulse” surveys, which offer immediate responses but do not result in business outcomes.
The ultimate problem is that formal employee engagement programs miss the point –that a bond must be created by the leader with the employee, a bond that is ongoing.
Without dynamic and personable leaders and managers, employees will remain disengaged from their jobs and will desire a change. This leads to solving the real problem — hiring the right kind of managers, positive leaders who can communicate clearly with all — a feat that most will admit is not common.