Guest Post: Feeling of appreciation in corporate culture (Margaret Starka)
Margaret Starka (Guest Post)
December 22, 2023
"There are no people" is not true.
In the context of how the demographic structure of the labor market is changing today, there is one issue we should talk about. The active number of people is not such a big problem in this market. However, their age composition is changing. Millennials currently make up about two-thirds of the workforce. When I hear that "there are no people," it's not entirely true. But when someone says, "there are no YOUNG people," I agree because there are currently fewer of them in the labor market. I find that finding new employees is often the highest priority for companies, compared to being primarily concerned with not giving people a reason to leave. Therefore, they try harder to get people to choose them as their future employer rather than prioritizing the right approach to their own employees. The perception of demographic developments is the key. Consequently, it should be a priority for companies and organizations to keep their current employees satisfied. Satisfaction is also closely related to the feeling of recognition.
We rarely experience the feeling of recognition at work. Businesses and organizations are trying to find ways to attract and retain the best employees while increasing team engagement. They do this, for example, by offering various benefits, flexible working conditions, training managers internally, or building a more attractive workplace compared to the competition. However, sometimes they forget one very simple thing: regular praise, gratitude, and recognition towards employees.
According to research by Gallup, only one in three people at work perceives that they have received praise or recognition for good work in the last seven days. Some employees feel that their good work is forgotten. However, among those who do not feel recognized, there is twice the likelihood that they will leave their job within a year.
We yearn to be seen. The feeling of recognition in the workplace gives people more motivation to help the company or organization succeed. Besides awards, people have the opportunity to feel that they have achieved something important and that their work is meaningful and recognized. The feeling of recognition not only improves morale but also increases performance and engagement with the company, leading to stabilizing turnover. Recognition that is seen by others, targeted praise that others also perceive, shows that people in the company are seen and important. The feeling of recognition is not just about personal joy but also an opportunity to demonstrate how important the company culture is to everyone. Authenticity in recognition is crucial. Gallup found that the strongest sense of recognition is one that is authentic, personal, truthful, and specific, ideally individually tailored.
For example, the element of surprise enhances memorability. Recognition that stands alongside fair financial appreciation does not have to be financially demanding. It can be a small gesture, a personal message, or a thank-you.
The key feeling of appreciation is unrelated to money. In a recent Gallup survey, they looked at who employees associate with their most unforgettable experience of recognition. The results pointed to these roles: Boss (28%), Top leader or CEO (24%), Supervisor of Supervisor/Supervisor (12%), Customer (10%), and colleague (9%). 17% mentioned "other" as the source of their most unforgettable recognition memory. What surprised me about these findings? Almost a quarter of respondents associated their most unforgettable recognition experience with a top leader or CEO. Employees also remember this moment the longest of all. The survey also examined the ways in which their most valuable recognition was expressed. Money is not one of them:
Public recognition in the form of rewards or praise
Private praise from the boss, colleague or customer
Achieving high results in internal evaluations
Increased responsibility and trust within the job scope
Personal gift from the superior
Opportunity to share personal joy or pride in their work
Personally addressed gift
For me, a healthy corporate culture is one where every person experiences appreciation and a sense of recognition. Everyone has the opportunity to see how valued their colleagues are. Recognition for good work helps people feel valuable, and that means a lot to them—just as people should mean a lot to companies and organizations.
Meet Margaret: HR specialist, certified Gallup expert, People & Culture manager at the Paraple Center.
Margaret Starka spent 14 years working at Red Bull. She started in the marketing department. After 7 years she transitioned to HR and then she held the position of Head of HR CZ/SK. This experience inspired her to establish BE-DNA. Margaret enjoys bringing marketing principles into the HR environment. Under the abbreviation "HR", she understands Human Relations; interpersonal relationships that are a significant variable. She perceives that the HR department is going through a pivotal period. Every business owner should have someone beside them, who excels in interpersonal relationships.
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