Employee recognition plays a crucial role in strengthening workplace community and employee loyalty. When employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and connection to their colleagues and the organization. This leads to higher levels of employee engagement, job satisfaction, and loyalty.
The truth is the brands that create the highest levels of employee loyalty give themselves the best chance to create consumer loyalty. After all, these same front-line employees are the service providers that create branded experiences.
Gary Beckstrand, a vice president at employee recognition company O.C. Tanner, couldn’t agree more. In my conversation with Gary, he pointed out that employees around the world use different words to describe their employee experiences, but the common outcome they are looking for is a more fulfilling experience at work.
Fulfillment, or the lack thereof, is the primary reason employees are choosing to stay or leave organizations. So, it’s no surprise that, according to the O.C. Tanner Institute’s research, highly fulfilled employees plan to stay three years longer at their organization than those who are unfulfilled.
Employee Fulfillment Affects Your Workforce
The correlations of fulfillment to workplace outcomes are compelling — employee fulfillment appears to be a superior indicator of employee sentiment and the propensity to do great work compared to engagement and other traditional measures. There are four concepts that lead to fulfillment:
Community – belonging with a sense of purpose
Opportunity – growth and the ability to demonstrate mastery
Purpose – feeling like their work matters
Balance – a measure of autonomy and flexibility
When employees rate all four areas high, they are 21 times more likely to be fulfilled.
Gary and I spoke about how recognition should not only focus on the achievement of specific goals but also on the behaviors and attitudes that contribute to the success of the organization. Effective employee recognition programs should be timely, specific, and personalized. Recognition should also be visible and inclusive, ensuring that all employees feel appreciated and valued for their contributions.
Gary added, “Employees are craving a sense of belonging and meaningful connections. They want to know that their work is making a difference. Simply put, they want to belong to a community, which we define as ‘belonging with a sense of purpose.’”
Fulfillment Influences Loyalty
When employees have a strong workplace community, they are eight times more likely to feel like they belong. It’s this sense of belonging that leads to other important outcomes, including a 43% increase in retention and an 84% increase in estimated tenure or intent to stay.
Employee fulfillment also contributes to employee loyalty. Employee loyalty increases when people feel a sense of community and belonging, have opportunities to develop and show competency, are connected to purpose, and have flexibility in how, when, and where work gets done.
Besides improving employee engagement and loyalty, employee recognition can also have a positive impact on customer loyalty. When employees are happy and engaged, they are more likely to provide excellent customer service and positively represent the organization to customers. This can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Recognition Improves Community
Overall, employee recognition is a critical component of building a strong workplace community and fostering employee loyalty. By recognizing and valuing employees’ contributions, organizations can create a positive and supportive workplace culture that encourages employees to stay and do their best work.
Recognizing how employees contribute to success is one of the best ways to connect people to one another and to the organization. When recognition is integrated into the everyday employee experience and acknowledges not just the work but how employees uniquely contribute, the research shows a 366% increase in the sense of fulfillment and a 208% increase in the sense of community.
Initiate or Improve Your Recognition Program Today
Shawn Flippo, Director at TFL, shared his views on today’s recognition in the workplace. “Employee recognition has evolved. It goes beyond the act of delivering recognition. You need to offer the ability to personalize the recognition and provide rewards that the employees truly want. We have seen a shift towards an experienced-based market in which some employees are valuing experiences over products. Organizations need to solicit advice when looking to initiate or improve upon a recognition strategy.”
To be integrated, recognition must be an everyday part of the culture that’s often given, received, and observed throughout the organization. It must come from peers and leaders and acknowledge both the large and small efforts of employees in personalized ways. As Gary said, “When recognition is integrated into the everyday employee experience, it moves from something we do to a reflection of who we are as an organization.”