Employee Recognition and Health in the Workplace

Employee giving a congratulations for a job well done

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A report called ‘The 7 Key Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace’ revealed that recognition is one of the top five motivating factors for employees. The report, which surveyed 200,000 people, also showed that monetary compensation didn’t even make it to the top five. Not enough managers know this to be true, with most just waiting for the annual performance review to offer praise and recognition to their employees.

The benefits of employee recognition

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Entrepreneur notes that employees should be recognized every day and every office should have active employee recognition programs. Chron explains that recognition helps minimize employee turnover because workers who get regular recognition tend to stick around longer than employees who have been taken for granted. Happier employees also tend to be more productive, which in turn leads them to perform better. When you constantly recognize your team members, it becomes a positive cycle that helps in terms of productivity and good performance.

Employee recognition doesn’t only help promote productivity in the office; it also improves the overall health and well-being of your workers. For one, productive employees don’t need to stay late in the office. They go home on time, rest as much as they need, and enjoy a good work-life balance. And since technology has continually changed the way people work, it has become imperative to implement a good working culture. Positive work cultures encourage happier employees and this makes a difference in industries where the demands of the job are high, which often leads to the employees getting easily stressed.

How stress affects work performance

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Stress is quickly turning into a health crisis, with Healthline revealing that 60-80% of doctor visits are stress-related. According to the article, symptoms of stress include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache
  • Nausea

This, in turn, is putting a huge strain on a healthcare industry that is already stretched. Maryville University reports that the shortage of primary care physicians is anticipated to reach a minimum of 100,000 by 2025, with a greater scarcity in rural and inner-city communities. With more workers getting ill due to stress, the chances of them being properly treated is decreasing. This is why it is vital that employers create a good working environment. The more stressed the employees are, the more time they will take off work, and with a stretched healthcare industry the cycle will just continue.

A wellness program can help employee engagement

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Leading HR professionals are saying it is time to think outside the box with employee benefits. It’s another form of employee benefit that you can provide in addition to your employee’s health insurance. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars on wellness programs—the simpler and the more frequent, the better. It’s a great program if you want to improve employee engagement and minimize, if not eliminate, employee burnout. In our post ‘Employee Appreciation Day: 8 Ideas Your Staff Will Love’ we listed straightforward ideas that will show employees you recognize and appreciate them. These include:

  • Taking your employees out to lunch
  • Writing thank you cards
  • Flexible hours
  • Prizes

Exercise and mindfulness are great options, too

A woman doing yoga

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Most of the time, mindfulness and exercise are already lumped together into one wellness program. It’s important to make them their own category. Exercises can include community runs or nature walks, while mindfulness can include volunteer work, gratitude exercises, yoga, and meditation. 

It’s all about the small gestures

Employee being thanked through a handshake

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You can also copy what DSi co-founder, CEO & Steward of Purpose, Tom Turner did for his team when he upgraded the company rewards bulletin board and turned it into an “applause board”. Now, when employees see fellow co-workers going above and beyond their duties, the employee fills out an applause card and posts it for everyone to see. This not only gives the hard-working employees the recognition they deserve but motivates their teammates. We call this the Kiosk Mode where recognition can be displayed at the office and employees can see their achievements. It’s a great way to create friendly competition among your team members.

As this article shows it is vital that managers see the value of recognizing their employees. Those who don’t will quickly find themselves with an unmotivated and unproductive workforce. 

Article by Alicia Nicole