High-five. Props. Thumbs Up!

POSTED ON 
April 9, 2019

As someone with a background working in sales, I spent much of my career being financially incentivized for my work. But I’ll be the first to admit that simple words of praise can be just as motivating as a financial reward.

And apparently I’m not alone. A recent study found that 82 percent of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift. And it goes beyond simply making people feel good. Researchers have found that positive feedback is actually more effective than financial motivators. One study even revealed that 40% of employees who “do not feel meaningfully recognized will not go above their formal responsibilities to get the job done.”

So, if recognition is a more effective motivator than reward, why aren’t more companies getting it right? It likely comes down to the simple fact that it’s a lot easier to build an incentive program that is easily calculable – for example, a sales rep earns a bonus of $X when they close $Y in sales. Recognition programs require more thoughtfulness and proactive effort on the part of leaders and managers. To be truly effective, employee recognition must be deeply ingrained in the company’s DNA. And that takes work.

Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be! At Brilliant Ink, we built on our habit of giving individual “shout-outs” on our weekly team calls and by establishing a special Slack channel where individuals share which team member they’re particularly #grateful for and why. It’s been a small but significant way to make a habit of expressing appreciation for each other and it’s caught on like wildfire.

Not sure how to get started? This Inc. article is chock full of tips for effectively praising your people.

Ready to get creative? Check out these fun ideas for showing employees you’re thankful.

Still not convinced? Draw inspiration from leading organizations that are crushing it when it comes to employee recognition.

Bottom line? Remember that a simple “thank you” can go a long way!  

Read more bite-sized brilliance on our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jackie Berg
HEAD OF RESEARCH & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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