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Why employee recognition is vital

In the second of a series of articles, David Preston CEO of Realise encourages businesses to recognise employee effort.

The numbers of staff who have been furloughed across the meeting and events sector is frightening. Our industry, supporting almost 700,000 people, has been decimated. But if you are in that number, or were one of those having to implement that unpleasant decision, how was the experience for you?

Even before the full impact of Covid-19 was felt, a lack of employee recognition for their contributions was the single biggest factor for British people feeling disengaged at work. The results from employee engagement specialist Achievers make grim reading.

More than a quarter of those feeling disengaged at work felt unrecognised for their efforts. Whilst less than a third of workers felt they were recognised at least weekly, and less than half said they felt valued by their superiors.

The Achievers survey also found that around one in five respondents said they planned to look for a new job this year.

Jon Maddison, managing director, Achievers, commented: “The global pandemic has caused a massive disruption throughout the jobs market. Employers are increasingly looking for ways to retain their best talent and keep them engaged. Organisations should consider an employee recognition programme to help align staff with organisational objectives and improve both retention and productivity.”

The Achievers survey looked at what factors might encourage people to change jobs. Top of the list was an ‘improved work-life balance’ (28%), followed by ‘career advancement’ (26%). Only 13% mentioned a higher salary.

Clearly in these challenging times it’s vital to make staff and suppliers feel engaged. It’s not just a positive ethical choice, it also makes sound business sense.

Jonathan Lord, HR lecturer, added: “The average cost of recruiting an employee is £2,000, rising to £6,000 for senior executives. With 20% of employees planning to look for a new job, it’s vital that organisations focus on employees and engagement even more.”

The Achievers survey revealed that 35% of employees said they felt very engaged at work and committed to their company for the long term. The figure needs to be higher, but that is a solid base on which to build. Our website offers some solutions and our partnership with Juno can deliver a points-based reward system which gives employees great control and therefore engagement with their work.

When this is over, how you treated people when the pandemic hit will stay in people’s minds for a long time. So, let’s get it right.