Employee recognition: Feeling appreciated at work (Guest post by Veronika Patzeltová)

Veronika Patzeltová (Guest post)
July 21, 2023
5 min

I'm not an employee anymore :) Freelancing gives me a lot. However, there are days when I miss something that I haven't described to myself yet. Firstly, it's a stable team of people united for a common goal and to o motivate each other. They gather in a shared space almost every day, sharing joys and challenges of work and personal life. Secondly, it's feedback from someone who provides guidance and accompanies you towards a shared goal. “Recognition” is a part of these thoughts as well.

Recognition is the feeling that someone appreciates my work. They let me know that what I'm working on makes sense, that I am important to the organization, and without my added value, it wouldn't be the same. It means being an essential part of the team, bringing something unique that others don't have; complementing each other. I will never forget the feeling when I worked for months to prepare a training. After my presentation, I received positive feedback from colleagues, managers and even from the CEO who attended the training.

Those words are still vivid in my memory: "Thank you for bringing these topics to our company, presenting them in your own way, and showing us new perspectives."

I often took screenshots of feedback from my colleagues, sharing them with other team members. Sometimes even with my friends and family. I remember how those words of recognition gave me the motivation to continue. However, above all, they inspired me to go beyond the ordinary… For myself, for them, for us as a team.

Imagine having this kind of impact on another 100 people in your organization. These 100 people feel that they have an important role. Their work matters and they are seen and recognized. It doesn't mean they are perfect and flawless; it means they are regularly appreciated for what they are naturally strong and talented at. Imagine another 100 going above and beyond with 120% effort. Not because they are chasing a bonus or because they just have to. It is because they see the meaning in it; that value in what they bring. Employee recognition, besides its impact on overall performance, fosters engagement, corporate values, and mutual trust.

According to a Gallup Study ("Praise to Profits: The Business Case for Recognition at Work"), these 5 pillars are important for successful employee recognition

1. Adequacy: Recognition or praise towards your people should be proportionate to their achievements.
2. Authenticity: Honesty is crucial; recognition should not be a formality or obligation.
3. Personalization: Specific recognition for individuals based on their projects/tasks and appreciation for their strengths.
4. Fairness: Everyone deserves recognition for their work, not only the most favorite colleagues.
5. Alignment with company culture: Recognition should be in line with your corporate values and naturally derived from how you communicate within the organization.

How can you foster a culture of appreciation? Here are a few tips that can contribute to making people feel seen and recognized. Let's not forget that recognition is not just about material things and finances. Often, a sincere note on a card accompanying a gift or well-targeted feedback can be something people remember for years.

  • It's not solely about Birthdays or Christmas. Take note of when your people have their work anniversary or work milestone. Let them know that you appreciate their loyalty.
  • Personalized gift for their work desk. Reward them with something that will enhance their days spent at the computer. It can be something practical, fun, or something close to them that will make their time without family or friends more enjoyable.
  • Celebrate achievements. It can be as simple as inviting them to lunch or breakfast. Share a milestone with them or simply celebrate the fact that the person stepped out of their comfort zone (for example, by representing the team in board meetings).
  • Give them a few unexpected hours "off" in the form of a "no return lunch" (for example, on Friday afternoon).

Now, take a few minutes to reflect. Do you work for a company that regularly and naturally appreciates your work? How does it impact you? Do you appreciate your colleagues? As a leader, do you appreciate the people in your team? What can you do every day to foster a culture of recognizing achievements in your company? Take a moment to remember when you were last appreciated and how it made you feel. And what happened afterwards? :)

Meet Veronika: HR Expert, Psychotherapy Student, and Yoga Teacher.

Veronika Patzeltová has been working in the world of HR for over seven years, having worked in Red Bull CZ and Red Bull SK. Recently, she is a fresh blood & Business Partner at BE-DNA. Veronika enjoys the soft and creative part of HR or basically anything that connects people not only within the company but with themselves as well. Recruitment, development, company culture and facilitation of workshops are the areas where she feels the flow the most. In addition to her work in HR, Veronika teaches yoga, including private classes in offices. She is in psychotherapeutic training "Compassionate Inquiry" from Gábor Maté and finishing her psychosocial studies in PPF.

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